Joy of Man’s Desiring

Dir: Masakazu Sugita
Cast: Ayane Omori, Riku Ohishi
85mins   2014   Japan   PG   Japanese    Subtitled   

After a huge earthquake strikes Japan, young siblings Haruna and Shota are left orphaned and homeless. Haruna is left traumatised by witnessing her parents’ death, while younger Shota is oblivious to the fact that they are no longer coming back. Soon Haruna and Shota are taken in by a relative, but even with a new house and new family, little can fill the void left by the parents and no one, including Haruna, can tell Shota the awful truth.

Director Masakazu Sugita, himself a survivor of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, crafts a tender and humane story focusing on orphans affected by natural disasters – a topic he decided to tackle following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Sugita’s poetic and tranquilly shot debut film received Special Mention at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, as well as being nominated for the Best First Feature Award in 2014.


Screened as part of The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018(Un)true Colours – Secrets and Lies in Japanese Cinema.

Programme includes:

Sing My Life (Ayashi kanojo) 

Japan Now Special Strand: Birds Without Names (Kanojo ga son na wo shiranai toritachi) 

Where I Belong (Shabondama) 

Joy of Man’s Desiring (Hitono nozomino yorokobiyo) UK première

Sword of the Stranger (Stranger mukohadan)


Image (c) Bones/Strangers 2007 All Rights Reserved