Director Hikaru Toda,Philip Cox / 2014

Step inside The Angel, where the rooms are rented by the hour but the sense of satisfaction lasts much longer.

A space for intimacy as well as sex, love hotels are a Japanese tradition. The nation's 37,000 such hotels attract 2.8 million people per day, each seeking fulfilment or to follow their fantasies. But legal changes and the entertainment police now threaten the more adventurous establishments.

In Osaka, The Angel's days are numbered, but its clientele still flock through the doors. Co-directed by Philip Cox (The Bengali Detective, MIFF 2011), Love Hotel strips both bare: the struggle to keep the hotel running, and its everyday customers – from the couple seeking a safe haven from homophobia to the elderly pair who use the rooms for dancing practice. This documentary offers a revealing portrait of a distinctive element of Japanese culture under threat, as well as affording audiences a look at what really goes on behind closed doors.

Contains explicit sexual content.
Co-director Hiraku Toda is a festival guest.

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