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Ichijiku no kao

Faces of a Fig Tree

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ICHIJIKU NO KAO

The Kadowaki family lives in a traditional Japanese wooden house with a fig tree in the yard. The atmosphere is rough, but warm-hearted. The father sets off for Tokyo to take a secretive night job at a construction site. This sows mistrust in the family. Barely after having returned, Oto dies from a sudden brain hemorrhage. Mother Maasa loses her emotional balance, daughter Yume discovers her adoption papers; their world starts to unravel.
Actress Momoi Kaori's bizarre directorial debut can hardly be grasped in words; its absurdity, its originality, its crazy humor, even its profound sadness are all fashioned out of garishly colorful images. Suzuki Seijun's longtime production designer Kimura Takeo is responsible for the extravagant set design. The film's impetuous stylization doesn't even stop at an animated sequence with cursing ants. You can look to your heart's content at loving details, but you're always newly surprised by surreal comedy and sudden shifts in perspective and time. Ichijiku no kao is a film about farewells, resolutions, fading memories. Nostalgia, however, never comes up. The present is too strong for that.
Christoph Terhechte

Japan 2006, 94 min

by

Momoi Kaori

with

Yamada Hanako
Momoi Kaori
Ishikura Saburo

World Sales

Open Sesame Co., Ltd.