1 - 7, 2018
ORGANISED BY THE AUSTRIAN-JAPANESE SOCIETY (ÖJG)
MARGARETENSTRASSE 78, 1050 VIENNA
Thursday, October 5, 6:00 p.m.
Japan 2017, 117 min.
A morning like any other: the Suzuki family gets set for their daily routine just as usual. Mother prepares breakfast, father gets ready for another exciting day as salaryman at the office, and the teenage kids are uninterested in anything happening outside of their smartphones. This routine comes to a sudden stop when what seemed to be a local power outage turns out to be a possibly global blackout. Nothing works anymore, nothing at all. What at first seems somewhat manageable—necessity is nevertheless the mother of invention—steadily grows into a veritable disaster. Food and water are running out, and all social life threatens to disintegrate.
The family decides to flee Tokyo, by bike, as it’s the only means of transport moved by manpower. Driven by the hope of finding some functioning civilization somewhere, they cross Japan and get to know a new world that’s extremely challenging but also brings out abilities in them that they were unaware of.
What sounds like a tragic doomsday drama turns in the hands of director Yaguchi into an absurdly hysterical comedy, which leads the portrayed family to new challenges and so constantly forces viewers to question their own certainties. The fact that in today’s Japan you don't need the help of monsters, aliens or zombies in order to create a post-apocalyptic situation suggest that traces of the natural disaster in 2011 still linger in people’s minds. It is again conceivable that our familar existence could come to a sudden end.