The Light Shines Only There

  • Directed by Mipo O
  • Japan, 2014, 90 mins., Japanese

This year’s Japanese submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and the winner of the Best Director award at the Montreal World Film Festival, O’s film is set in the grittiest fringes of Hokkaido, a port town in a permanent polluted haze. The traumatized Tatsuo spends his days drifting aimlessly and his nights drinking to oblivion. At a smoke-filled pachinko bar, he meets Takuji, a brash blonde teen parolee, who impulsively invites him to the seaside hovel she shares with her bedridden father, careworn mother, and world-weary older sister Chinatsu. As Tatsuo and Chinatsu take tentative steps towards a relationship, a ray of light in their hopeless world, the happy go lucky Takuji latches on to Tatsuo with unforeseen consequences.

Genres: Drama