Momoko Ando · 2015 · 196 minutes
In her sophomore feature, Momoko Ando adapts her own novel into a 196-minute epic that blurs genres and over a series of vignettes subtly addresses issues of generational divides, class, empathy, and sexism. Sawa (the director’s sister, Sakura Ando) is a private caretaker for the elderly but loses her job after a fatal series of accidents. Broke and with no one to fall back on, in order to survive she targets lonely old men, blackmailing them and forcing her way into their homes. At first this edging into their lives is not only a way for her to secure a roof over her head but also a small revenge against a patriarchal establishment. However, with time she develops genuine friendships with each of them before moving on to the next. A true masterpiece of contemporary Japanese cinema, its structure recalls the great picaresque novels. Each of Sawa’s chapters bear insights both expansive and intimate, treated with a darkly humorous lens. A perfect send-off to Batsu Film Festival Vol. 1.
Best Actress, Kinema Junpo
Filmography: Kakera: A Piece of Our Life ('10).