A seventy-year-old widowed man named Daikichi lives on a small island with his beloved pet cat. He is a local, a native, enjoys his home and spending time with that cat and old friends. His own son has done what many local youngsters have. The son has moved to Tokyo. However, change is eternal and friends are dying of old age, the environment is changing and old age creeps up and makes folk infirm. The old man has to contend with this change.Written by
The film was part of the line-up at the Toronto Japanese Film Festival in Toronto, Canada in 2019. See more »
The widower Daikichi (Shinosuke Tachikawa) lives with his cat Tama on a small Japanese island that is home to a great many cats and a fair number of old people, including Daikichi's friend Iwao (Kaoru Kobayashi), who is practically the only person on the island who doesn't like cats. As Iwao is a fisherman, however, cats really love him! The quiet community is shaken up a bit by the arrival of Michiko (Ko Shibasaki) from Tokyo, who opens a modern cafe that is soon the hub of the community, and before too long Daikichi is learning to cook from the newcomer. As the seasons pass, there are small changes here, larger ones there, and the effects of aging are taking their toll....
This is an incredibly gentle, quiet movie that just tugs at the heartstrings and never lets go. One flashback scene shows the 6 1/2 year old cat Tama as a kitten and the entire Montreal Fantasia Festival audience as one went "awww!" and then also as one laughed at that reaction - that's the kind of film this is. The director, Mitsuaki Iwago, previously worked as a wildlife photographer, and his way of framing the cats (of which, I hasten to add, there is at least one in every scene) is beautiful, along with his framing of all this fantastic looking food. I suppose if you hate cats, you won't want to see this film, but everybody else should really enjoy it!
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