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The Clone Returns Home (2008)
"Kurôn wa kokyô wo mezasu" (original title)

 -  Drama | Sci-Fi  -  10 January 2009 (Japan)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 355 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 11 critic

The Clone Returns Home is a compelling meditation on the paradox of life and death, and the meaning of love and family. Set in an imaginary - yet utterly imaginable - future, this quietly ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mitsuhiro Oikawa ...
Kohei Takahara
Eri Ishida ...
Yoko Takahara
Hiromi Nagasaku ...
Tokie Takahara
Kyûsaku Shimada ...
Dr. Kageyama
Ryô Tsukamoto ...
Young Kohei
Shô Tsukamoto ...
Young Noboru
Ken'ichi Yajima ...
Sasagawa
Kôzô Satô ...
Towada
Takahiro Hirano ...
Yagihashi
Airi Tsurumi ...
Teshigawara's Granddaughter
Akemi Fuji ...
Kanemoto's Mother
Chieko Ichikawa ...
Mitsu Takahara
Yoshito Shimizu ...
Fukunaga
Tajiro Tamura ...
Farmer
Akiko Hayashi ...
Nurse
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Storyline

The Clone Returns Home is a compelling meditation on the paradox of life and death, and the meaning of love and family. Set in an imaginary - yet utterly imaginable - future, this quietly provocative film skillfully transposes complex emotional drama into the realm of science fiction by exploring the influence of technology on human memory and experience. Filled with stunning imagery and haunting stillness, The Clone Returns Home deftly combines subtly nuanced sci-fi with a uniquely Japanese perspective on the universal themes of family, life, love, and death. Written by Hikari Ohta

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Drama | Sci-Fi

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10 January 2009 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

I epistrofi tou asotou klonou  »

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User Reviews

 
For the connoisseur of deep thoughts
18 July 2010 | by (http://sitenoise-atthemovies.blogspot.com/) – See all my reviews

I'll start right off saying I'm not equipped to properly review this film but since my modus operandi is not to review films as much as react to them, I'll indulge myself. I'm not much of a science fiction fan but I love Hiromi Nagasaku so I checked this one out. The Clone Returns Home (aka The Clone Returns to the Homeland) is a heady, metaphorical, poetic, extremely slow and beautiful film. There aren't a bunch of fancy gadgets or spaceships, nor aliens running around. The only reason to call this "sci-fi" is the photographic tweak to things that makes it feel like it's in the future (it is), and the fact that the main protagonist is an astronaut and his spacesuit plays a big role in the film. And, well ... there's the science.

The Clone Returns Home explores the notion of identity by way of cloning and spends a good deal of expositional time discussing it and the ethical milieu it exists in. It also spends a good deal of non-expositional time observing some guy carry around a spacesuit.

Kohei is an astronaut who dies while on a mission in outer space. His company can legally clone him, complete with all his memories and feelings, as a sort of insurance reimbursement. His wife (Nagasaku) is a little freaked out by this notion, and thus begins the exploration of identity. Things get complicated when Kohei's memory bank seems to get filled back up only to a point in his childhood when his identical twin brother died while trying to rescue him from drowning at a fishing hole. At first I thought it was kind of cheap to use identical twins who, we learn through flashbacks, as children often tried to pass themselves off for one another, as the starting point in an exploration of identity. Even more so when this developmentally stunted clone goes missing and the company decides to clone him again, essentially making an identical twin clone. But then I realized the director wasn't trying to make a solid argument or theory about identity (or cloning) as much as trying to cook up a complex stew of ideas and invite the viewers in to sample all the spices. Just as it takes a connoisseur to fully appreciate the complexities of a fine wine, it will take a hardcore sci-fi fan to get her head around all that's being explored in this film. It's not for casual viewers. I couldn't begin to tell you who is in the spacesuit (which appears to be empty half the time), or who is carrying around whom. The film's glacially slow pace, meant to give the viewer time to savor the ingredients, of the film as a whole and the spacesuit in particular, will not play well at the mall.

If I were a sci-fi junkie, especially one who enjoyed the heady and intellectual stuff, I might give The Clone Returns Home ten stars. But I'm not, so I give it six ... which means your mileage may vary.


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