Director: Takahata IsaoOnly 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).