August in Tokyo

Grabbed the opportunity to catch some of the films shown during EIGA SAI 2016/ Japanese Film Festival from August 17 to 20, 2016 at the UP Film Institute. I saw five out of the eleven films shown:

1. THE GREAT PASSAGE, about a geeky, awkward, introvert salesman who accepted a job in the dictionary department– a job that no young guns are interested in applying to– in the nick of time when he was about to be kicked out from the sales department. He was about to face the most challenging task of creating the most unique dictionary to be called The Great Passage that took more than a decade to finish. Note: This film changed the way I look at dictionaries: high respect for the people behind its creation. I never really thought about how dictionaries are made until I saw this film.

2. KEN AND KAZU, about two friends who were drug pushers, a story that is so timely in our country today. On the surface, it’s a story about the cause and effect of getting involved in one illegal activity to another. But if you dig deeper, this film also highlights the relationship between two friends, Ken and Kazu, the loyalty they have for each other until the very end.  Kazu already regarded himself as worthless because of a childhood trauma afflicted to him by his lunatic mother which he wasn’t able to recover from. But Ken proved to him that he’s wrong when their lives were put in a life or death situation.

3. THE LITTLE HOUSE and  4. PALE MOON, both tell the story of two women who lived in different periods of time, who secretly pursued happiness disregarding the laws and morals set by society.

These four films are unforgettable but my favorite would have to be, 5. AUGUST IN TOKYO, a story about two people, Natsuki and Natsuo, who do not know each other but living parallel lives, experiencing about the same time one misfortune to another, experiencing one heartache to another, and tragedies that seem to never end. But a brand new hope will touch their hearts when the two finally meet.

“August in Tokyo” made me cry in buckets. In fact almost all the people in the audience cheered for this movie because it made us cry in pain and smile before the story ends.

A trailer of “August in Tokyo.”

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