by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
Japan 2015, 317'
Four women. All in their 30s. Three married, one divorcee. They are able to tell each other anything. Or at least they thought. One day, after losing in divorce court, one of them gives up on a future with their partner and disappears. The three remaining women take a second look at their lives. The long night is full of questions. "Are you who you wanted to be?"
Cast & Crew
With: Sachie Tanaka, Hazuki Kikuchi, Maiko Mihara, Rira Kawamura, Yoshio Shin, Hiroyuki Miura, Yoshitaka Zahana, Shuhei Shibata, Hiromi Demura, Hajime Sakasho, Tsugumi Kugai, Yasunobu Tanabe, Ayaka Shibutani, Shoko Fukunaga, Yuichiro Ito, Ayumu Tonoi, Reina Shiihashi
Production company: Kobe Workshop Cinema Project LLP (Neopa Inc./Fictive LLC)
Producer: Satoshi Takata
Locarno FF 2015
After graduating from the University of Tokyo, Hamaguchi worked in the commercial film industry for a few years before entering the graduate program in film at Tokyo University of the Arts.
He made a festival debut in 2008 with his graduation film Passion at San Sebastian and Tokyo FILMeX. He has been constantly working on films since then. These include the Japan/Korea co-production film THE DEPTHS (2010) and a series of documentary Tohoku Trilogy co-directed by Ko Sakai (Sound of the Waves, Voices from the Waves and Storytellers) from 2011 to 2013. The former two of trilogy are composed by interviews of the victims of the devastating Great Japan Earthquake, and Storytellers is a documentary about research activity in Japanese regional folktales.
In 2015, his 317-minute feature film Happy Hour won major awards at numerous film festivals starting at Locarno FF. His first commercial film Asako I & II was selected for competition at the Cannes FF in 2018. He is also the screenwriter on Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Wife of a Spy, which won the Silver Lion at the 2020 Venice FF.
In 2021, he released two films, WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY, which premiered in Berlinale Competition and won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, and DRIVE MY CAR. For the latter he has received Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival as well as two Academy Awards nominations, for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, making him the third Japanese director to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director.