Celebrating new Japanese films in collaboration with The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019
On the anniversary of their matriarch's passing, the Shinjo family congregate in their ancestral village on remote Okinawan island of Aguni. In line with the ancient tradition practiced on the island, the family must carry out a senkotsu – or a bone washing ceremony – by exhuming the remains and ritualistically cleansing them. Returning home from mainland Japan is unwed daughter Yuko, who immediately sets local tongues wagging with her advanced pregnancy, while eldest son Tsuyoshi lashes out at their estranged father any opportunity he gets as he nurses his own wounds. The two are dismayed to find that their widower father Nobutsuna had been drowning his sorrows in alcohol. As the clan prepares to bid a last farewell to their wife and mother, they might just find that the journey forces them to face several other unresolved issues.
Based on an acclaimed short of the same title, this is the second feature from Okinawan comedian Toshiyuki Teruya a.k.a. Gori. Light-hearted and humanistic in its approach, it is a rare opportunity to learn about a near-extinct regional custom, and a tender meditation on love, family, and coming to terms with grief.
Introduced by Kenta Kato, programmer for the Rainbow Reel Tokyo and MA student in Film Studies at the University of Sussex, working on the politics of representations of sexual minorities in post-war Japanese studio cinema