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CHERRY BLOSSOMS — HANAMI

Director: DORIS DÖRRIE

GERMANY-FRANCE • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 35MM • 127 MIN


Perhaps still best known in this country for her breakthrough hit Men Manner, (1985), veteran director Doris Dorrie continues her fascination with all things Japanese in this bittersweet account of a grieving German widower’s journey to Tokyo.

When Trudi (Hannelore Elsner) learns that her husband Rudi (Elmar Wepper) is terminally ill, she suggests visiting their children without telling him about his condition. The couple travel to Berlin, where their busy offspring have little time for them, and it’s Trudi rather than Rudi who suddenly dies. A distraught Rudi decides to journey on to Japan when he learns that his wife had long wanted to live a totally different life there. He visits Tokyo during the city’s cherry blossom festival, a celebration of beauty, impermanence and new beginnings.

This sad and tender story is given a strong Japanese flavour by Dorrie, who has acknowledged her debt to both Yasujiro Ozu’s 1953 classic Tokyo Story and that film’s own inspiration, Leo McCarey’s 1937 masterpiece Make Way for Tomorrow.

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