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Friday, Dec. 12, 2008

'Tokyo Sonata' subtitled for English-speaking audiences

Staff writer

The film "Tokyo Sonata," which won the Jury Prize at the 2008 Cannes International Film Festival, will be shown with English subtitles in Tokyo from Dec. 13 to 19. Directed by the renowned Kiyoshi Kurosawa, the film tells a cynical but warm story about a dysfunctional family in Japan.

News photo
Family matters: A scene from 2008 Cannes Jury Prize winner "Tokyo Sonata" © 2008 FORTISSIMO FILMS / "TOKYO SONATA" FILM PARTNERS

A middle-aged office worker, Ryuhei Sasaki (Teruyuki Kagawa), has been fired by his company, but he doesn't tell his wife, Megumi (Kyoko Koizumi) and his two sons, and continues to pretend to go to work. Housewife Megumi cooks doughnuts for her sons everyday, but her youngest son, Kenji (Kai Inowaki), notices his mother's despair. Kenji, a sixth-grader, is hiding the fact from his family that he is learning to play piano. His brother, Taka (Yu Koyanagi), a college student, is working part-time and hardly returns home. One day, when Kenji returns home, the other family members have disappeared . . .

Kurosawa, who is known for his horror movies, said on the Web site of "Tokyo Sonata" that his producer had brought him a script by Australian writer and film director Max Mannix.

"The script was a simple but strong story about parents and their children, which I thought I could never have come up with as an original script. It was a good surprise," Kurosawa said. "I wanted to show (in the film) a hope that is beyond logic."

As it says on the Web site, the film will make viewers reconsider the bonds between parents and children.

"Tokyo Sonata," with English subtitles, will be shown at Cinemart Roppongi (4:40 p.m., 7:15 p.m) from Dec. 13 to 19. The theater is a two-minute walk from Roppongi Station on the Oedo and Hibiya subway lines. Tickets are ¥1,800. For more information, visit the Web site for the film at tokyosonata.com/

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