SUMMER WARS features a family that is trying to cope with the vagaries of life following the collapse of the world wide web. Set in the near future, the film portrays a dramatic situation in a world in which performing the simplest of daily tasks has now become almost impossible without the use of the internet.
Everyone’s online in the virtual city of Oz, where people use artificial alter egos known as Avatars to do their work for them. Kenji is a student who has a summer job working for the city’s provider. One day he meets Natuski, the girl of his dreams. She invites him back to her home town, Nagano where she surprises Kenji by asking him to pose as her fiancée in order to placate her grandmother. On his first night in Nagao Kenji receives an email asking him to calculate a complex equation. A keen maths student, Kenji works away at the equation until he manages to find the solution. But all at once, everything changes: the next morning the news is full of the story of an Avatar that has run amok and is now terrorising Oz. Kenji is flabbergasted to learn that the offending Avatar is none other than his own.
Mamoru Hosoda: “Family bonds are the strongest of networks, no matter how advanced the high-tech networks of the internet are. I would like to create a film with a story which will be accepted by a wide range of people without reference to age or sex. I would like to make a film which the whole family can enjoy as an adventure.”
Japan 2009, 114 min
Nippon Television Network Corporation
© Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin