Director: Sunao Katabuchi.
Voices: Non, Yoshimasa Hosoya, Minori Omi. Japan 2016. 130 mins. Japanese with English subtitles.
This award-winning story follows a young girl named Suzu (Non), who in 1944 moves to the small town of Kure in Hiroshima, where she marries a young clerk at the local naval base. Living with his family, Suzu becomes essential to the running of the household. In 1945, intense bombings by the US military bring hardship and suffering to the area. Suzu's life is changed irrevocably, but through perseverance and courage, she manages to live it to the fullest.
This fender and genre-bending film takes us into the not-too-distant machine-driven future. Kokone should be diligently studying for her university entrance exams, but she just can’t seem to stay awake. Aside from stealing precious study time, her napping is even more distracting, as it brings on strange dreams with warring machines that hint at family secrets that have been dormant for years. She can’t ask her father, a hipster mechanic more talented and artful than his job requires, as he’s always busy modifying motorcycles and cars in flights of fancy. What are these visions that lead Kokone at once closer to and further away from her family?
Leaving the world of J-pop behind her, Mima Kirigoe begins life as an actress on a crime drama show called Double Blind. When offered a lead role in the show as a rape victim, Mima accepts in spite of her manager’s reservations. However, the backlash from fans over her career change and a strange website called ‘Mima's Room’, written by a fake Mima, begin to worry her. When a stalker appears and people involved in Double Blind begin turning up dead, with all the evidence pointing to her, Mima is thrown into a state of confusion, madness and paranoia.