The official website for Yuya Ishii’s Sawako Decides has been launched with a trailer. Ishii got the opportunity to write and direct this film as a direct result of his film Bare-Assed Japan winning the Grand Prix of the 2007 Pia Film Festival, which funds a feature-length theatrical project for every year’s winner as a way to help new talent.
The film, which premiered last July at the PFF, stars the late-blooming, but fast-rising actress Hikari Mitsushima (Love Exposure, Pride) as a mildly depressed office worker named Sawako who has all but given up on any semblance of a hopeful future. Now on her fifth office job and fifth boyfriend, her life seems to have amassed into one big unsatisfying compromise. When she discovers her father has fallen ill in her hometown, she’s initially hesitant to go back because she knows the entire town thinks of her as an ungrateful daughter who ran away from home.
Eventually, her boyfriend Kenichi coaxes her into taking over her father’s clam processing plant, going so far as abruptly quitting his own job so that he can join her along with his young daughter from a previous marriage, Kayoko. Thus, the de facto family head off to Sawako’s hometown, unaware of the bizarre ordeals Sawako will soon be faced with.
“Sawako Decides” will be screened in Germany as part of the Berlinale’s Forum, aka The International Forum of New Cinema, later this month and will be released publicly in Japan this year.