by Chris MaGee
If you had to ask me what some of the most important films made in Japan in the past decade have been I'd definitely have to include Masahiro Kobayashi's bleak, brave and insightful drama "Bashing". It's story of a young aide worker recently released from being held hostage in Iraq being faced with shame and outrage by her fellow Japanese shows us a Japan not as we or even the Japanes themselves want to see it, but as it really is. That's great filmmaking, and it's that unvarnished approach that makes the 55-year-old Kobayashi's filmography so vital, so when I saw that Kevin Ouellette at Nippon Cinema (with the help of the ubiquitous logboy) had posted a trailer for Kobayashi's latest film "Where Are You?" I know I wanted to share it with you all.
“Where Are You?” stars Kobayashi's own son Yuto Kobayashi as a a 16-year-old boy named Ryo who has grown up with an estranged father and a severely ill mother. He works at a convenience store to make ends meet as best he can, but when his mother finally succumbs to her illness Ryo is left shoulder not only the grief at her passing, but also the financial burden of settling her estate and her funeral. Masahiro senior takes Masahiro junior's character on an odyssey to face the emotional and practical challenges of a child dealing with his parents death as well as his attempt to tie up the loose ends of his relationship with his absent father.
"Where are You?" already had it's international premiere at this year's Locarno Film Festival and will be receiving a limited theatrical run in Japan starting on November 14th. For now head over to Nippon Cinema here to check out the trailer.