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Films From Japan

Christine Hakim - the most prestigious actor in Indonesia - stars in and co-produces this rites-of-passage feature. Set in the stark landscapes of East Java, the film's concern is the mother-daughter relationship of Daya and Berlian (Hakim), a midwife and herbal medicine vendor. A spate of murders ... Read more
Neutrophil is the key factor in how white blood cells protect us from Infection. Japanese researchers have recently succeeded in extracting and purifying a hormone called G-CSF, known for its efficiency in propagating the neutrophil. This film studies the role of G-CSF with state-of-the-art ... Read more
The year is 1949, a mere four years after Japan's defeat in World War 2. The nation was under the boot of the American occupation, and the U.S. was determined to make Japan a stronghold against the threat of Communism. By contrast, powerful leftist movements were taking place throughout the ... Read more
Without Memory is a melancholy document of three years in the life of Sekine Hiroshi, diagnosed with Wernicke's Kosakoff Syndrome, a minute but profound damage to the brain which prevents him from accumulating new memories. While hospitalised for a stomach operation in 1992, Hiroshi was deprived of ... Read more
Woman in the Dunes is the second film of Hiroshi Teshigawara. It tells of a teacher, an amateur entomologist, who is on holiday, and led by villagers to stay overnight in a house which is at the bottom of a deep pit amongst the dunes. He finds that he is trapped there, in the company of a strange ... Read more
An accomplished debut feature that boasts the kind of impossibly gorgeous imagery that punctuates the films of Tran Anh Hung (Cydo, Vertical Roy of the Sun). Woman of Water is a meditative, Zen-like film exploring the world of Ryo, the rain woman, who seems to have the power to bring about a ... Read more
Shinohara constructs a delicately nuanced por­trait of a highly charged relationship between two young men. With minimal ingredients — one location, two characters, one day's passage — he has produced a subtle and shifting study of a brief encounter, in the process touching on a ... Read more
The new millennium. The final battle to decide the fate of humanity is about to take place Kamui Shirou's destiny has already been decided by the time he returns to Tokyo to face the ultimate challenge. The Dragons of Heaven, powerful and benevolent cosmic entities, stand ready to assist in the ... Read more
“We are committed to rebuilding a proud Japan, where the prime minister can openly worship at Yasukuni.” - Japanese politican ... A celebrated but beleaguered documentary, Yasukuni drew a storm of controversy in Japan from ultra-nationalists, who labelled the film anti-Japanese. Chinese ... Read more
In the middle of the 19th century, at Namome, on a highway north of Edo, crime is rife. Sanjuro, a wandering Samurai, arrives to find the village decimated by some long lasting feud. Hansuke, a petty police official, offers to introduce him to one of the local bosses as a bodyguard. ... The village ... Read more
The search for Yokohama Mary, an infamous former prostitute who went missing over a decade ago, becomes a journey through Japan's post-war past. Yokohama Mary was a prostitute in the Japanese port-city during the years following the end of World War II. In the decades since then, she became a ... Read more
A glorious, dynamic melodrama written by Mizoguchi collaborator Yoda Yoshikata, [Yoshiwara: The Pleasure Quarter] ranks among Uchida's finest films. ... A successful textile industrialist from the provinces is beloved by his employees for his kindness, but cannot find a wife because of a ... Read more
Jojini Mizuno is a disgraced ex-cop convicted for illicit dealings. He infiltrates two competing gangs with a secret agenda, setting mobster against mobster. Like a stubborn drunkard, he crashes his way into the most unimaginable scenarios, unleashing brutality, anguish and psychosis. In the ... Read more
MIFF has brought together the amazing and imaginative works by Image Forum, Japan. Exclusive to MIFF, these short films are at the epicentre of experimental filmmaking in a range of styles. [The Trains] (Hirata Takahiro, 8 mins) is a rhythmic rendition of [Kaerunoouta] (Frog song), created by the ... Read more
Memories and images fade easily; they are entities that are forever losing their balance. ... --- D/P Aihara Nobuhiro WS Image Forum L no dialogue TD 16mm/2008 ... Read more
Zatoichi Japan'a variation on Kurosawa's Yojimbo, which became Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars' Zatoichi is as good as, probably better than, Kill Bill.' -The GuardianWinner of the audience award at the 2003 Toronto Film Festival and four prizes at Venice Film Festival, Zatoichi is an ... Read more
"A serious dash of Miike weirdness... One of the most memorable closing shots ever." - Twitch Film ... In 2004, MIFF favourite Takashi Miike (see 13 Assassins, also in this year's program) directed a deranged superhero parody about a geeky teacher who dons striped tights to crush crime as Zebraman ... Read more
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