Kujira no machi

The Town of Whales
Keiko Tsuruoka
Japan 2012

10.02. 19:30 Eng. subtitles CinemaxX 4
11.02. 22:00 Eng. subtitles CineStar 8
13.02. 15:00 Eng. subtitles Cubix 7
16.02. 20:00 Ger. subtitles Arsenal Cinema 1

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Machi, Tomohiko and Hotaru attend the same high school. Machi misses her older brother, who disappeared six years earlier. The trio takes up his trail, which leads them first to Tokyo and then across the sea.
Together, these two girls and a boy comprise a fragile love triangle. It is a game of attraction and boundary setting, of closeness and distance. The three of them are at an age marked by profound insecurity and a constant desire to search, as well as by curiosity and the spirit of discovery. These changing states and moods dictate the rhythm of Keiko Tsuruoka’s directorial debut. She observes the trio again and again as they drift through their summer holidays – in the swimming pool, going for a walk, hanging around doing nothing. If life doesn’t have a dramatic structure yet, then the film doesn’t need one either. Moments are all that count, and each one has its own special significance: Such as when Machi receives a crate of yellow peaches from a friend of her brother, which makes her feel the sadness of her loss all the more clearly. The journey of these three young people is filled with such moments, which they experience together and which help them understand one other. (Anke Leweke)

Production: Keiko Tsuruoka, Tokyo
Screenplay: Keiko Tsuruoka
Camera: Kenta Sasaki
Cast: Momoko Tobita, Sui Katano, Sakiko Yamaguchi, Kentaro Sato
Format: HDCAM, colour
Running time: 70 min
Language: Japanese