Irish Film Institute -EAFFI 2021: HAPPY HOUR


Director: Ryusuke HAMAGUCHI

317 mins, Japan, 2015, Subtitled

Jun (Rira Kawamura), Akari (Sachie Tanaka), Sakurako (Hazuki Kiku-chi) and Fumi (Maiko Mihara), are a close quartet of female friends all in their thirties living in Kobe, Japan. The unexpected disappearance of Jun after telling them the news of her divorce proceedings destabilises the other, unraveling and revealing their own anxieties and feelings of insecurity. This becomes a catalyst for them to change their lives, and to realise who they really want to be.

Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, Berlinale 2021, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy) writes and directs this extraordinary, nuanced and multi-layered film, casting non-professional actors who together have phenomenal chemistry. Through organic sequences he captures and reveals in theatrical manner the emotions and psychology of his characters. His account of womanhood is a fascinating exploration of social norms and the female condition in Japanese society.

Screening as part of the East Asia Film Festival Ireland 2021, March 25th to March 28th.

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