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Three Stories of Love

Love, in all its semblances and dimensions, is a state so universally experienced by humankind that it has provided a perpetual source of inspiration in the long history of global cinema. 

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 features thoughtfully selected works from Japan’s artistic repertoire, all focusing on this theme in one way or another. As the conventional binaries defining what it means to love continually give way to new understandings of this sweeping emotion, so too does this year’s curation aim to provide insights into a wider context of love in Japanese society.

Koibito-tachi, 恋人たち

A widower (Atsushi Shinohara) seeks revenge for his wife’s murder. Toko (Toko Narushima) is an unfulfilled and exploited housewife. Elite lawyer Shinomiya (Ryo Ikeda) harbours secret feelings for his male friend. Offering a glimpse into the microcosm of relationships within Japanese society, three vignettes tell very different stories of love, loss and rejection.

Named the best Japanese film of 2015 by Kinema Junpo and Mark Shilling of The Japan Times, this tenderly crafted work puts loneliness of modern life on full display. The emotional damage incurred by the desperate protagonist trio is made all the more relatable by the acting of three non-trained newcomers who were picked specifically for the roles and had the script written around their personalities by Hashiguchi.

Event Information

Running Time: 2hrs 20mins

BBFC Advice: 15

Director(s): Ryosuke Hashiguchi

Country of Origin: Japan

Year of release:

Language(s): Japanese with English subtitles

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