In 1868, after the fall of the Shogun-dominated Japan, the new government orders people from Awaji, near Kobe, to re-locate to the northern part of Hokkaido. These people once supported the... See full summary »
Just as Clint Eastwood's star-making spaghetti Western A Fistful of Dollars was inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, Japanese-Korean filmmaker Sang-il Lee (Villain) has decided to ... See full summary »
Ashita no Kikoku or "remembering for tomorrow" features a man who is diagnosed as having Alzheimer's Disease. Ken Watanabe who has costarred Last Samurai play this man with considerable talent and good physical expression, which might help the non- Japanese audience understand better about the patient. His memory and thoughts go back and forth stirring up the present, while the scenes follow this condition. Pictures are kept above all stylish and the mountainous setting is to appeal mysterious functioning of our memories ("Kioku" in Japanese) .
This man called Mr. Saeki is far from a good family man; he used to be workaholic deserting family for his company business. This is understandable because he works for a major Japanese firm in Tokyo; the film does not take up this issue but strictly focuses on the development of the Disease.
Mrs. Saeki does not bring any social issues to screen, either. She is described as a woman who lives with her memories of loving her husband. By only trying to keep the family together, she might have avoided other hardship ever since they married.
Over all, this movie is a love story within a happy married couple. There are no adventure, no heroic actions, no powerful social message involved in this film, but every scene is carefully chosen and often "speaks" without words. It would show much more up- to-date image on Japanese middle class life than any costly government-endorsed tourism campaign videos and movies.
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