7.1/10
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3 user 5 critic

Breathe In, Breathe Out (2004)

Shinkokyû no hitsuyô (original title)
Breathe In, Breathe Out is about six, later seven strangers from different walks of life who have gotten jobs harvesting sugarcane on a small Okinawa island. Each worker has their own ... See full summary »

Director:

Tetsuo Shinohara

Writer:

Yasuo Hasegawa
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Sayaka Kaneko Sayaka Kaneko ... Etsuko Kawano
Karina Karina ... Hinami Tachibana
Saburo Kitamura Saburo Kitamura
Sayaka Kuon Sayaka Kuon ... Misuzu
Masami Nagasawa ... Kanako Doi
Hiroki Narimiya Hiroki Narimiya ... Daisuke Nishimura
Nao Ohmori ... Yutaka Tadokoro (as Nao Ômori)
Shôsuke Tanihara ... Shuichi Ikenaga
Taeko Yoshida Taeko Yoshida
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Storyline

Breathe In, Breathe Out is about six, later seven strangers from different walks of life who have gotten jobs harvesting sugarcane on a small Okinawa island. Each worker has their own unique personality as well as their own issues As they try to work and live together. Written by expendaworzt

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

29 May 2004 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Breathe In, Breathe Out See more »

Filming Locations:

Okinawa, Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shinkokyu Associates See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Exemplary!
23 June 2012 | by cremeaSee all my reviews

Breath in, Breath Out is a 2004 Japanese film which I saw about 6 or 7 years ago or so, and just revisited recently. It's as superb now as it was then. Some films don't tend to age well over time, but this is really the epitome of a timeless uncomplicated film that can last forever.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

The plot revolves around 6 young strangers gathered together to work a sugar cane harvest over the course of a month or so to make some extra money. It's sort of like a working vacation as well, as they get to spend their time at an island getaway that's the polar opposite of the normal hustle and bustle of their regular lives. The work they have to do is grueling and back breaking however, and most all of the workers are ill prepared for the task at hand, but they soon get down to it though, and this movie is off and running.

That's about all there is to the story. The rest of the movie is about getting to know the 6 workers, their foreman, and the sweet granny and grandpa who own the land that needs to be farmed. This is a VERY simple and slowly paced film that is basically nothing more than a subtle character study and bonding experience, with some self discovery between the characters thrown in for good measure. As boring as that might seem, this movie is often engrossing, frequently mesmerizing, and oddly soothing.

One of the best things about this film is simply what it is not: there are no giant plot twists, no heroes, no villains, no hidden agendas, and little to no nonsense. There's some plot points implemented throughout that are designed to further flesh out and test each of the main characters involved. It's obvious that all of the main characters have their own reasons for being there, and many have their own past life issues they are trying to overcome (some heavier than others), but not so much more so than most any group of real life people you just randomly gathered off the street.

As a side note; I typically don't like to make mention of film making specifics in my reviews much beyond acting, writing, directing, and whether I liked the movie or not. But, I would be remiss to not mention the cinematography in this particular film, as it is superb; the island shots are stunning and gorgeous, and the sugar crop field is often hypnotic to just stare at as it waves in the wind, and evolves over time while the workers relentlessly whittle it down.

The film is a shade just over 2 hours long, but it certainly doesn't feel like it. It breezes right along, and just grows on you in a way that is really hard to describe. It also becomes a strangely emotional viewing experience as the ending draws closer and closer. In the end, I really wanted to see the workers accomplish their goal, but I also wished they could keep on harvesting this sugar crop indefinitely.

I liken this movie to spending an enjoyable evening (in reality) with good friends who are soon moving far away. Sometimes, you wish an evening with your friends would last just a little bit longer, and sometimes you wish a sugar cane field was just a little bit bigger. This film might not be for everyone, and it's likely not suitable for the adrenaline/action/ADHD crowd. But, I found it to be somewhat fascinating and thoroughly likable, and, I was a little bit sad when it all had to inevitably end. And that is the highest compliment I can give to any film.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and totally worth watching if you're willing to give it a chance...9 out of 10 stars.


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