Starting with his 2011 Pia Film Festival Special Jury Prize-winning autobiographical feature debut, Our Future, Kasho Iizuka has focused on the lives of people who don’t fit neatly into Japanese society.
Iizuka’s latest feature Angry Son is his second 2022 release following his transgender relationship drama The World for the Two of Us. It tackles immigration and mixed-race experiences through the prism of a single-parent family where the titular angry son is gay Filipino-Japanese high-schooler Jungo (Kazuki Horike) who lives unhappily with his vivacious Filipina mother Reina (singer and actress GOW) in a city located in Gunma Prefecture. A search for his father forces them to face the prejudice they have experienced and reconnect in a touching, funny, and fiery drama.
Cultural faux pas, prejudice, and healing happen after a lot of patience and empathy help characters get to understand each other. Iizuka explores various social issues such as harmonising racial and sexual identities by skilfully wrapping them up in a strong family drama where the characters are sympathetically dealt with. Such was the impact of the film that it won the Most Promising Talent Award at the 2022 Osaka Asian Film Festival and it has been selected for Nippon connection and this attention is richly deserved as the film is so well made and full of substance as it presents a hopeful picture of a Japan that is becoming more diverse.
Where did the story come from? What drives director Kasho Iizuka? He took part in an interview where he explained lots of things that informed Angry Son. The interview was translated by Takako Pocklington.
Continue reading “An Interview with Kasho Iizuka, Director of ANGRY SON [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022]”