Sunday, 1 February 2015

It Only Happens in the Movies? Japanese Cinema and Encounters: My Little Sweet Pea


 I began to see the genre Japan Foundation chosen for this years film festival at ICA London- loss of family and had a great sadness watching the protagonist fight her emotions on whether to accept her estranged mother or not.

Catch another showing of this film:

Filmhouse
26 February 2015

Tyneside Cinema
2 March 2015

mac birmingham
3 March 2015

My little Sweetpea

A contemporary film set in current Kapan where Meguka lives a life of struggle with her brother ( Ryûhei Matsuda also starred in Otaku's in Love). Their father dies 3 years ago and lives on her Brothers wages or so she thinks.

Her world is turned upside down when a woman turns up on there  doorstep claiming to be her mother. Abandoning them as children due to their fathers infidelity Megu and her brother find it hard to forgive her.

However out of greed then agree yo her living with them as she had been sending them rent money regularly but was now unable to afford it. Megu is forced to lice with her mother Saiko as the brother decides to move out out of irritation.

She cannot tolerate the molly codelling and invasion of privacy, after her manga is thrown out and her application to voice acting school opened she lashes out at Saiko. Soon after she passes away from advanced liver cancer.

The story takes a strange detour where Megu travels to her mothers home town to bury her. Here us stared at and treated like a celebrity as she is the spitting image of her mum. Saiko was the high flyer and beauty queen of town.

Megu begins to learn more about her mother and the hardships of divorce. Did she come to stay with her knowing these were the last moments of her life? She didn't become the rich singer she dreamed of being but she was happy to have her kids. Through meeting the people in the village especially Saiko's friend Micheru she forgives her mother.

This film covered a lot of life's hardships, people are complex and not always clear. Also it was great to see hard working adults indulging in past times such as manga. Parents overall shape our behavior and way of living. Also was nice to see the curators choose a film looking at Otaku culture and having the actor Matsuda re appear after being show in Otaku's in Love at the last years touring film festival.