7.6/10
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4 user 2 critic

Ohikkoshi (1993)

Renko, a girl in the sixth grade, is at first unperturbed by her parents' decision to separate. With the companionship of her boyfriend, Minoru, and Sally, a classmate in the same boat, ... See full summary »

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8 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kenichi Urushiba
Junko Sakurada ...
Nazuna Urushiba
Tomoko Tabata ...
Renko Urushiba
Mariko Sudo ...
Wakako Takano
Taro Tanaka ...
Yukio Nunobiki
Ippei Shigeyama ...
Minoru Oki
Nagiko Tôno ...
Risa Tachibana (as Akimi Aoki)
Konami Nakai
Tooru Gômori
Tatsuhei Shôfukutei
Ginpei Shôfukutei
Bingo Shôfukutei
Heiji Shôfukutei
Hideki Hanaoka
Tomonori Aoyama
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Storyline

Renko, a girl in the sixth grade, is at first unperturbed by her parents' decision to separate. With the companionship of her boyfriend, Minoru, and Sally, a classmate in the same boat, Renko gradually realises the practical implications of divorce, and tries repeatedly to get her parents to reconcile. An old man teaches her about the need to forget the past... Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

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Drama

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20 March 1993 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Moving  »

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1.66 : 1
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Featured in A Story of Children and Film (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Moving...
12 July 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Timing can perhaps have a big impact on the international success of a career. As the 1990s progressed, Japanese cinema grew in popularity around the world once more, starting to win major awards as in the days of the old masters. The 1970s and 1980s, however, were a little slower

  • in terms of international acclaim anyway - for Japanese directors.
And while there were some great films made during this period, it is perhaps something of a lost generation for Japanese cinema.

Most of the films of Shinji' Somai's twenty year career from 1980- 2000 were made during the 1980s, with the end of his career coming as many Japanese directors saw theirs take off. Domestic success, therefore, did not result in international, in perhaps a reverse of the approach to the new millennium where many Japanese were less aware of/excited by the films of Kitano Takeshi and Miike Takashi as some in the West.

My first exposure to Somai's work was 2000's "Kaza-hana", his last film, and while good, perhaps not a fair reflection of the body of his work. But with releases less easy to locate in the West, the Internet can be a place to try and unearth some of his treasures. "Ohikkoshi" ("Moving"), one of Somai's later films, shows a strong director using quite simple ideas to powerful effect.

Renko Urushiba is a girl about 12 years old whose parents are to separate. A seemingly normal family dinner between the three does not seem to reflect the discussion between her parents, Kenichi and Nazuna, that Kenichi will be moving out tomorrow. Aware of this fact, Renko carries on as normal, happy-go-lucky, not fully understanding what the situation really means.

Gradually, Renko's world becomes torn: between her mother - applying strict rules while trying to be her best friend - and her father - with a more laid-back indifference; and between friendship circles at school, with new-found empathy with some of the school's outcasts, betraying her family's supposed "normality." Despite her attempts at trying to patch the family back together, the more she tries, the more she feels that she is alone; the Urushiba's now three individuals rather than a family unit. This results in her running away when trying to recreate a family holiday from the past; instead taking a voyage of discovery on her own.

Now, this all sounds pretty usual coming-of-age stuff, as a child struggles to come to terms with elements of life they will have to get used to as they grow older, learning that fairy tales do not exist and life will not always be how you want it. But rather than choosing to focus too much on sentimentality, Somai puts the audience in the role of the child. The cause of the break-up is never fully explained throughout the film, keeping the audience in the child's perspective of ignorance of the adult actions that impact on their lives.

Increasingly, Renko comes to terms with the fact that she is on her own, neither of her parents willing to help her understand further. It's for this reason that she chooses to run away when the pair still show animosity towards each other when she slyly organises a family reunion for the fireworks festival at Biwako. Her running away allows both Kenichi and Nazuna to better understand their own failings in the family: Kenichi chooses against taking a customary swig from his hipflask; and Nazuna admitting that perhaps she may be just as much to blame for the relationship failing.

But it is now too late. Spending the night alone in the woods by the lake, Renko wonders alone until she comes to the shore, spying a boat from the festival covered in fireworks. In a dream-like sequence, she watches on as the family happily play together in the water during a summer of yesteryear. But soon, her parents turn their backs on her and walk away into the water before sinking below, leaving her asking "where are you going?" Receiving no answer, she is left alone. But it is the Renko of the past that disappears; the Renko of today watching on, shouting "Omedetou gozaimasu" at the festival boat in congratulations, her transformation complete.

The closing credits are accompanied by a vibrant, gleeful Renko dancing around a street scene, touching everyone she meets: gifting a flower to her mother; suppressing her father's wine glass as she massages his shoulders; claiming she is "moving to the future." The future is a clearly older Renko in a school uniform, a more assertive and serious expression painted on her face. Renko has matured, though whether this is for the better is left open.

This simple, but powerful style of filmmaking is clear to see influencing the likes of directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Miwa Nishikawa, Kiyoshi Kurosawa in "Tokyo Sonata" and other regulars on international film festival circuits. Somai missed out on this year- on-year international success of those that came after him. But, much like Renko's acceptance of her situation, his influence perhaps has a longer, more lasting impression, rather than an instant hit.

politic1983.blogspot.co.uk


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