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Japan, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Studio Ghibli Takahata and Other Classics)

Director: Takahata Isao

Only Yesterday (Omoide Proporo) Japan

Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahata Isao's second film as director for the animation company was the instant classic Only Yesterday. The biggest Japanese box-office hit of 1991, Only Yesterday cemented Studio Ghibli's reputation for artistic excellence.

Okajima Taeko, an office girl from Tokyo, decides to take a 10-day vacation in the country. Not having any close family to stay with, she chooses to visit some relatives of her sister's husband and work on their safflower farm. The slow, laborious process of harvesting the crops gives Taeko an opportunity to reflect on her past and what her life goals might be. With flashbacks to her school days, we follow Taeko's thoughts as she becomes aware that her life, although steadily evolving, has for the most part been unfulfilling and aimless. Taeko finds a friend in Toshio, a second cousin who supports organic farming, and through their friendship she re-evaluates her life, realising that with a little help from the past, she may yet be able to build a new future. Only Yesterday offers a study on the profound beauty of rural life, positioned alongside nostalgic reflections of 1960s Japan.

D/S Takahata Isao P Suzuki Toshio WS Studio Ghibli L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/1991/119mins

Takahata Isao was born in Mie, Japan in 1935. Films include: Pom Poko (MIFF 2004), My Neighbors the Yamadas (MIFF 2004).

See also...


My Neighbors the Yamadas (Ho-hokekyo Tonari no Yamada Kun) JapanUtterly distinct from standard Studio Ghibli animation, My Neighbors the Yamadas consists of rough sketches in outline form, with soft ... More »


Pom Poko (Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pompoko) JapanJapan's top box-office hit of 1994, the wonderfully inventive Pom Poko, saw Studio Ghibli introduce digital animation techniques to their films. Takahata ... More »


Whisper of the Heart (Mimi wo Sumaseba) JapanWhisper of the Heart is an entrancing and heartfelt masterpiece written by Studio Ghibli co-founder Miyazaki Hayao, the creative genius behind Spirited ... More »


The Cat Returns (Neko no Ongaeshi) JapanThe latest film from Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli is The Cat Returns, an enchanting fantasy adventure tale following the fortunes of Haru, a ... More »


Nine Souls Japan'a masterful work of pure kinetic energy, surreal imagery, raucous humour, eccentric characters and a driving guitar score' [director] Toyoda Toshiaki displays a unique and ... More »


Blood and Bones centres on Kim Sun-pei, a Korean migrant attempting to build a fortune in Japan. Contrary to his hopes, the Japan he encounters is a brutal world of discrimination and hard labour ... More »

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