Almost down and out in Japan
'Japan: A Story of Love and Hate' is a documentary about a failed businessman living with/off his much younger girlfriend on the poverty line in Japan. The story is a mixture of universal tragedy (no time, no space, no freedom and increasingly no love) with a mixture of peculiarly Japanese characteristics and other characteristics that are just downright peculiar (when the hapless hero bonds with his girlfriend's father over their common need of Viagra, in the presence of the whole family, one senses one is witnessing a scene that would be odd in any culture). The film is slightly marred, however, by the film-maker's insistence on repeatedly telling us how odd Japan is, when he could be letting the story tell itself. But it's still an intriguing, and intrinsically very sad, look at what happens when you fall through the cracks in one of the world's richest nations.
- Apr 14, 2009
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