Abraxas (Abraxas no Matsuri,アブラクサスの祭)
The Knot (Musubime,結び目)

Our homeland (Kazoku no kuni,かぞくのくに)

Our homeland (Kazoku no kuni,かぞくのくに)

[ Directed by ]
Yang Yonghi
[ Produced by ]
• SATO Junko
[ Cast ]
• ANDO Sakura Rie
• IURA Arata Sung-ho
• YANG Ik-june Yang
[ Staff ]
• Screenplay: Yang Yonghi
• Cinematography: TODA Yoshihisa
• Production Design: MARUO Tomoyuki
• Editor: KIKUI Takashige
• Music: IWASHIRO Taro
[ Production Company ]
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
[ Production Studio ]

Release Date: August 4, 2012
Running Time: 100 min
Genre: Feature
Color: Color
Screening Format: DCP, HDCAM
Screen Size: HD (16:9)
Subtitle: English

[ Story ]
The first narrative feature from director Yang Yonghi, who gained international acclaim for her documentary films DEAR PYONGYANG and Sona, the Other Myself. Winner of the International Confederation of Art House Cinemas (C.I.C.A.E.) Prize in the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival’s Forum Section.
Sung-ho (Iura Arata), who emigrated to North Korea as part of a repatriation program for Koreans in Japan in the 1970s, visits Japan for the first time in twenty-five years to receive treatment for an illness. His younger sister Rie (Ando Sakura) and the rest of his family shed tears of joy at their reunion. However, in the middle of his planned three-month stay, Sung-ho is suddenly ordered to return to North Korea.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2012 Berlin International Film Festival, Forum, C.I.C.A.E. Award
• 2012 Busan International Film Festival, A Window on Asian Cinema
• 2012 Montreal World Film Festival, Focus on World Cinema

A figure of a strong and courageous woman who fights her personal battle against the system and destiny, crushing reasons and feelings (interpreted by a convincing Andō Sakura, already protagonist in Sono Sion’s Love Exposure), a woman bent over herself because of the same system that made her a victim “who does not think, who only wants to survive” (Arata, I remember her struggling with an enigmatic character in Koreeda’s Distance) and that for most of the time appears a prey to a bewilderment that it makes it unfit for any reaction.
They are the two siblings , Rie and Son-Ho, protagonists of the first fiction film of Yang Yong-Hi presented in world premiere at the 62nd Berlinale, after the documentary Dear Pyongyang of 2005 and Sona, the other myself of 2009, already focused on the events of the director’s family, divided between Japan and North Korea (a country in which Yang Yong-Hi is currently forbidden to return, but where his brother are).
The story is inspired by the period around in the late ’50s, during which many Koreans living in Japan were induced to move to North Korea, enticed by the idea of ​​more possibilities, for example in terms of education, greater well-being and above all the end of discrimination against them. Son-Ho, Rie’s brother, is one of those who had been repatriated, very young, while the family remained in Japan. After 25 years of separation the boy obtains, also through the association of Koreans living in Japan in which his father works, permission to return to the country where the family resides for a three-month visit during which he should undergo medical treatment for a serious illness that was diagnosed. After a few days of arrival, however, Son-Ho, watched in sight during his stay in Japan by a North-Korean “supervisor” (played by the excellent Yang Ik-June),was forced to return to North Korea due to a sudden and inexplicable order.
A courageous film (the same director, in presenting his work, admitted to being aware that his work could decrease the chances of seeing his family, but added that he preferred the complaint, to show them his love, risking in any case, doing so no longer able to embrace them), poignant, sometimes slightly melodramatic, which “unfolds” the various nodes of relationships in an effective way: the intense between the two siblings were so different in character and approach to life, of children towards a rigid and uncompromising father that Son-Ho faces in a single dramatic moment before talking to him from behind a curtain and then letting anger escape control that against a bureaucratic-political system, which does not hear reasons of humanity and tramples of hopes. There is no shortage of nostalgic references to a past that is now definitively lost, during the studies, during a meeting with a group of old friends, including Suni, the first love of Son-Ho. The director lingers on the two characters, “wraps” Son-Ho, just arrived in the neighborhood, as he gets out of the car and walks on foot the last meters that separate him from his house and his mother, appeared in the doorway; he “crushes” it against a wall of colored balloons, in a shop where he went to buy a gift to take home to his son, thus accentuating the contrast with the pallor of his face that makes him look like a ghost of desolation. Rie, obvious alter ego of the director is instead that moves the waters of the resignation of family members: in a beautiful sequence leaves the house to face the “vigilante” and at that moment the leaves of the climbing plant that completely cover the outer walls of the the building is moved by a sudden wind. She openly accuses her father, she tries to oppose physically at the departure of her brother. In the scene that concludes the film, the girl goes to buy that suitcase that Son-Ho liked and that represents the very idea of ​​departure, of new opportunities, but also the anguished weight of loss, which brings with it to life who is forced to suffer it.
[Katsuyuki Nakanishi]

Katsuyuki Nakanishi
Born on 1984 in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Graduated in Vantan Film and Movie Institute major in film director. The fourth graduate of JSC Cinematographers assistant upbringing cramming school. While he was studying in Tokyo, he was also working with Director Shinya Tsukamoto's movie at the same time. After that, he became part of the lighting department of Toei Studios Kyoto, studied under Kiyoto Ando and Takashi Sugimoto. In these movies, he worked as an assistant lighting director with Takashi Sugimoto in "Chacha - Tengai no Onna"(2007) and Kiyoto Ando in "The Fallen Angel"(2010). He work as a freelancer since 2011 and became part of these latest movies as a lighting director of Director Yang Ik-June's ”Shibata and Nagao"(2012), Director Keisuke Yoshida’s ”Himeanile”(2016), Director Kohki Yoshida’s ”ThreeLights"(2017), Director Hiroshi Ando’s ”Moon and Thunder" (2017) and Director Shinya Tsukamoto’s ”Killing” (2018).

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