Irish Film Institute -EAFFI 2023: LOVE LIFE + Q&A



123 mins, Japan-France, 2022, Digital, Subtitled

Taeko (the wonderful Fumino Kimura) lives in a small Japanese city with her husband Jiro (Kento Nagayama) and her eight-year-old son Keita, from a previous marriage to deaf Korean-Japanese Park Shinji (Atom Sunada). After a tragic accident, homeless and jobless, Park reappears in Taeko’s life. Taeko is the only person who can communicate with Park, using Japanese sign language, and this disrupts Taeko and Jirō’s already unbalanced relationship.

Through acute observation and brilliant, naturalistic performances, acclaimed Japanese director Kōji Fukada’s (Harmonium; A Girl Missing; The Real Thing) mundane domesticity and suburban settings become ambiguous and unsettling. Fukada explores and upsets the flawed emotional relationships of tidy traditional middle class family life and everyday social order. Observed with harrowing coldness through static camera set ups, abrupt pacing and narrative shifts subvert the illusionary unity and surface to reveal the underlying tension. Sign language is brilliantly used in Love Life as a link and division between the characters, and this is beautifully reflected through visual details of gestures.

Followed by Q&A with director Kōji Fukada, hosted by critic Tara Brady (The Irish Times).

Notes by Marie-Pierre Richard

Screening as part of the East Asia Film Festival Ireland (EAFFI) 2023.

Book Tickets

Thursday 30th