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In this multi-award-winning outback journey of discovery – now brilliantly restored – Toni Collette stars as a geologist at odds with a Japanese businessman.

Fiercely independent geologist Sandy (Collette) is head of a company that designs scientific software in Western Australia. When she’s unwillingly tasked with showing a surface mine to Kyoto-based businessman Hiromitsu, who mistakes her for his driver, they clash over cultural and personality differences, and over Hiromitsu’s insistence on driving farther into the unknown. It’s there in the unforgiving outback – all desolate landscape under sprawling, clear sky – that their animosity and initial reservations morph into intense desire.

After premiering in Un Certain Regard at Cannes and screening as MIFF 2003’s Opening Night film, this spellbinding character study from Melbourne director Sue Brooks (Road to Nhill, MIFF 1997) scooped multiple awards, including Best Film, Best Direction and six more at that year’s AFI Awards. The spectrum of emotion masterfully displayed by Collette is a driving force, but so too is the now-revitalised cinematography from Ian Baker, which showcases the vast Pilbara desert as an equally captivating party in the unfolding events. Japanese Story is a magnificent gem of Australian cinema: propelled by romance yet realistic about life’s unexpected turns.

“Offbeat and downbeat … A film full of thoughtful stillness, powerful moods, reflective internal struggles and shattering, lonely self-realisation.” – Empire

Director Sue Brooks will be in attendance for the screening on Sunday 6 August.