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Kirschblüten - Hanami (2008)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 6 March 2008 (Germany)
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After Rudi's wife Trudi suddenly dies, he travels to Japan to fulfill her dream of being a Butoh dancer.

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8 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Elmar Wepper ...
...
Aya Irizuki ...
Yu
...
Karl Angermeier
...
Franzi
...
Felix Eitner ...
...
Emma Angermeier
Celine Tanneberger ...
Celine Angermeier
Robert Döhlert ...
Robert Angermeier
Tadashi Endo ...
Butoh Dancer
Sarah Camp ...
Butcher
Gerhard Wittmann ...
Doctor #1
Veith von Fürstenberg ...
Doctor #2
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Hess ...
Pfarrer
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Storyline

When Trudi learns that her husband Rudi is dangerously ill, she suggests visiting their children in Berlin without telling him the truth. As Franzi and Karl don't care much about their parents, Trudi and Rudi go to the Baltic Sea, where Trudi suddenly dies. Rudi is thrown out of gear, even more when he learns that his wife wanted to live a totally different life in Japan... Written by fippi2000

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama | Romance

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Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

6 March 2008 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Cherry Blossoms - Hanami  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,322, 18 January 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$103,797, 21 June 2009
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Karolin Angermeier: Your cue, mama.
Klaus Angermeier: Go on, mama.
Karolin Angermeier: Mama, please, 'The Mayfly'. Come one, mama. For us.
Trudi Angermeier: 'Stop! What you're doing is murder!'
Klaus Angermeier: 'Such cruelty is not a must... '
Trudi Angermeier: 'The Mayfly has but one short day... '
Karolin Angermeier: 'One single day of pain, one single day of lust... '
[chuckles]
Rudi Angermeier: 'Oh, let it hover there, until it meets it's end. It's heavens last forever. It's life one day to make amends.' Right, mama?
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Connections

Version of Tokyo Story (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Chinsagu No Hana
by Ryuichi Sakamoto
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User Reviews

 
a work of art
22 November 2009 | by See all my reviews

When her husband is diagnosed with a terminal illness, a German woman named Trudi decides it's time the both of them paid a long overdue visit to their adult children - two of whom live in Berlin and one in Japan. The catch is that the husband, Rudi, doesn't even know he's sick and neither do the kids. Thus, Trudi must live with this horrible secret while putting on a brave face for those around her. But then a different, wholly unforeseen tragedy strikes the family and the movie heads off into an entirely new and utterly unanticipated direction from where we thought it was going.

A German movie set largely in Japan, "Cherry Blossoms" is a beautiful and heartbreaking film about living for the moment and of not putting off till tomorrow what you can do today. It's also marvelously perceptive about the dynamics of parent/child relationships, especially when, as is true in this case, the parents are viewed by their self-absorbed offspring more as burdens to be endured than blessings to be cherished. The irony is that Rudi and Trudi have more in common with - and indeed are treated better by - many of the strangers and casual acquaintances they come in contact with than they are by their own children.

But the movie is also an examination of marriage and of how partners can become so entwined with one another as a couple that they lose their identities as individuals, missing out on the dreams and goals they had for their lives when they were still young and unattached. This is certainly the case for Trudi, who has harbored a lifelong desire to take up Japanese dancing, a desire that Rudi, in his selfish indifference, has pretty much squelched in her for the duration of their marriage. Such a realization of lost opportunities can lead to regrets, recriminations and despair at the end of the road, yet in the case of Rudi and Trudi, one learns that lesson a little too late - and the other just in the nick of time.

Elmer Wepper and Hannelore Elsner are magnificent as the aged couple, superbly capturing the deep-seated but often unspoken love that each spouse has for the other. A fine supporting cast, led by Maximilian Bruckner as one of their sons and Aya Irizuki as a young street artist who befriends Rudi in his time of greatest need, adds to the movie's richness. Another crucial element in the emotional force of the movie is the richly elegiac score by Claus Bantzer.

The glory of this exquisitely realized and profoundly moving film is its willingness to grapple with some truly major issues - of life and death, of sorrow and loss, of filial and marital relationships - without getting heavy-handed and preachy about it in the process. Every moment in this film feels real and unforced, yet the movie itself has the minutely worked-out grace and precision of Japanese performance art (which we see quite a bit of throughout the course of the film). In fact, near the end, there is a fantasy dance sequence that is, quite frankly, one of the most utterly spellbinding scenes I've come across in ages.

Masterfully directed by Doris Dorrie, "Cherry Blossoms" is a lyrical and unforgettable work that takes its place among the truly outstanding films of recent times.


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