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Dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi, 2014, 171 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles
The latest from veteran director Obayashi (Hausu) merges drama and fantasy in a 3-hour experimental opus that delves into themes of life and death, family and friendship, war and peace.
Relatives gather from afar in wintery Ashibetsu upon the death of patriarch Mitsuo (Shinagawa Toru). A mysterious woman named Nobuko (Tokiwa Takako) suddenly shows up. Her appearance gradually exposes wartime secrets and Mitsuo’s unknown past. Building on his previous film Casting Blossoms to the Sky, Obayashi focuses on the border between life and death and brings to light an untold war story that was hidden within a family.