Renko, a girl in the sixth grade, is at first unperturbed by her parents' decision to separate. With the companionship of her boyfriend, Minoru, and Sally, a classmate in the same boat, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kenichi Urushiba
Junko Sakurada ...
Nazuna Urushiba
Tomoko Tabata ...
Renko Urushiba
Mariko Sudo ...
Wakako Takano
Taro Tanaka ...
Yukio Nunobiki
Ippei Shigeyama ...
Minoru Oki
Nagiko Tôno ...
Risa Tachibana (as Akimi Aoki)
Konami Nakai
Tooru Gômori
Tatsuhei Shôfukutei
Ginpei Shôfukutei
Bingo Shôfukutei
Heiji Shôfukutei
Hideki Hanaoka
Tomonori Aoyama
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Storyline

Renko, a girl in the sixth grade, is at first unperturbed by her parents' decision to separate. With the companionship of her boyfriend, Minoru, and Sally, a classmate in the same boat, Renko gradually realises the practical implications of divorce, and tries repeatedly to get her parents to reconcile. An old man teaches her about the need to forget the past... Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

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20 March 1993 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Moving  »

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1.66 : 1
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Unsung masterpiece by a director who died too young (spoilers)
22 May 2003 | by (New England) – See all my reviews

The title literally means "moving" as in "moving day" or "moving out" -- but, more metaphorically, refers to "moving on".

This is an extraordinary film about a 6th grade girl whose family is in the process of falling apart -- her parents are in the process of getting divorced. At first a bit oblivious, she begins acting out and concocting increasingly desperate stratagems to "encourage" them to re-unite. The film culminates with a forced (by the girl) family reunion at a fire festival at Lake Biwa, where our young heroine runs away from her parents to spend the day and night by herself -- first with an elderly local couple who temporarily "adopt" her, then at the age-old night-time rituals and finally alone (with the moon and nature) in the hills above the lake and then on its now-deserted shore.

Tomoko Tabata, the young girl who plays the film's heroine, turns in a remarkable performance. Her parents are presented credibly, as ordinary well-meaning but fallible people. The cinematography by Toyomichi Kurita (who has also worked with Oshima and Altman) is absolutely superb. The direction by Snji Somai is masterful. Alas, Somai died in 2001, in his early 50s, just as he was beginning to receive world-wide acclaim.

In many ways, this film strikes me as a live-action counterpart to the animated work of Studio Ghibli, with its blend of honestly portrayed everyday life (with almost a child's eye view) and fantasy (or seeming fantasy). The links are closest to Isao Takahata's 1991 masterpiece, "Only Yesterday" (and there seem to be a few quite overt homages). This film treasure is available on a virtually flawless DVD from Japan, accompanied by an interview with a now (just barely) grown-up Tomoko Tabata. Regrettably, there are no subtitles on the DVD -- and I have not yet found any online subtitle translations. An English subtitled version does (did) exist, as this was shown at various international festivals when it was new -- but it does not seem to have ever gained US distribution. Pray for a festival appearance near you and/or a subtitled DVD release -- or start learning Japanese.


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