Teruko, an elderly lady lives alone in the Japanese countryside of Niigata. She becomes delighted when a man comes to visit her house to deliver a golden package. She mistakes him for her childhood friend, but he's a con-man selling fake pills... The ensuing comedy of wit between the two characters plays upon social prejudice and preconceptions about senior citizens. This film was inspired by recent incidents in Japan, where senior citizens living alone were deceived by various types of con-men and scam-artists. Written by
This is a superb film about the anxieties of aging in Japan that probes assumptions about safety, security and human relations. Very skillfully and with subtle irony and unexpected twists, Ogata holds a mirror up to society in this very effective short about an old woman living alone in what is supposed to be a safe place where trust and reciprocity are the glue of community. The film is very funny and the actor and actress are perfect in their roles and deliver their lines and gestures with classic understatement. The script is well done, the filming is top notch and one can only hope this witty film will dispel some common stereotypes. There is gobs of material here and the director demonstrates that he has the incisive eye for social satire at its best. He whets one's appetite for a feature length version. I saw this film in Tokyo and the audience was spellbound. Ogata could become the Woody Allen of Japanese cinema if he can catch the right breaks and get the backing he deserves. He looks headed for acclaim on the festival circuit and more.
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