A Belgian woman looks back on her year at a Japanese corporation in Tokyo in 1990. She is Amélie, born in Japan, living there until age 5. After college graduation, she returns with a ...
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A Belgian woman looks back on her year at a Japanese corporation in Tokyo in 1990. She is Amélie, born in Japan, living there until age 5. After college graduation, she returns with a one-year contract as an interpreter. The vice president and section leader, both men, are boors, but her immediate supervisor, Ms. Mori, is beautiful and trustworthy. Amélie's downfall begins when she speaks perfect Japanese to clients. She compounds her failure by writing an excellent report for an enterprising colleague. The person she least expects to stab her in the back exposes her work. Thus begins her humiliations. What can become of her and of her relationship with Ms. Mori and with Japan?Written by
Based on Amélie Nothomb's real-life experience when she was living Japan in her early twenties in the early 1990s . The real-life events narrated in the film took place at the same time than those narrated in Tokyo Fiancée (2014) which depicts Amélie Nothomb's romance with her then-fiancé Rinri. However, Tokyo Fiancée's director Stefan Liberski set his film in the early 2010s. See more »
In the copying room, the hands of the clock on the wall behind Amelie do not move first at all, even though several minutes should have passed. A couple of hours later they are shown to have moved. See more »
Remember in the late 1980s when Japan's economy was the envy of the world and best-selling books said a company's survival depended on doing business the Japanese way? Belgian writer Amelie Nothomb was in Tokyo in 1989 and later wrote her own book an autobiographical novel -- that inspired this dark, often funny, story about life inside a giant Asian corporation. It is well worth watching.
Amelie is hired as a translator for the enormous Yamimoto Corporation and put in the accounting department. She is bright, talented and fluent in Japanese and all goes well at first. Unfortunately, Amelie doesn't fully understand the office culture and protocols. That leads to a series of missteps that result in her receiving increasingly degrading assignments.
Amelie's descent down the corporate ladder provides a fascinating glimpse into Japanese corporate life. It is a place that rewards loyalty, not initiative, where workers are promoted based on time served, not because of accomplishment, and bosses use public humiliation to keep employees in line. Watching the managers at Yamimoto in action you begin to understand why the Japanese economy has been in the dumps for the last 15 years.
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