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Archive - 10th Five Flavours Film Festival

The Long Excuse

Nagai iiwake
Japan 2016, 124’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Miwa Nishikawa
screenplay: Miwa Nishikawa na podst. własnej powieści
cinematography: Yutaka Yamazaki
editing: Ryuji Miyajima
music: Michiaki Kato, Nakanishi Toshihiro
cast: Masahiro Motoki, Pistol Takehara, Kenshin Fujita, Tamaki Shiratori, Keiko Horiuchi, Sosuke Ikematsu, Haru Kuroki, Maho Yamada, Eri Fukatsu
producer: Asako Nishikawa, Akihiko Yose
production: Bandai Visual Co. Ltd., Aoi Pro. Inc
language: Japanese
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Toronto IFF 2016; Vancouver IFF 2016; Busan IFF 2016; Rome IFF 2016

Film description

Sachio Kinugasa is a renown writer who lives off his success and noble, maturing beauty. When his wife dies in an accident, he finds the perfect words to express his inconsolable grief, but the refined, ostensibly deep form seems devoid of emotions. Unexpectedly, into his life comes Yoichi, a widower whose late wife died in the same accident, leaving him alone with two children. Acting on impulse, Sachio, somehow despite himself, decides to help the forlorn family.

It's hard to imagine two characters that would be more different – Yoichi is a candid, straightforward trucker (played by the rockman, Pistol Takehara), Sachio is a refined, gallant intellectual, a self-appointed authority (a well-balanced role by Masahiro Motoki from "Departures"). Their encounter will be a challenge – and an opportunity – for both of them.

Nishikawa lightly leads the viewer through this story of maturation and inner transformation, told without pathos, but with great psychological sensitivity. Balancing out the dramatic moments with subtle humor, she shows a clash of two worlds, two narrations of masculinity, family, life goals. With the nuanced, layered script, the director once again proves she is a worthy heiress of the best traditions of Japanese cinema by Ozu or Mizuguchi. Her leisurely style of narration combines well with a jazzy soundtrack and the camerawork of Hirokazu Koreeda's collaborator, Yutaki Yamazaki.

Jagoda Murczyńska

Miwa Nishikawa

Born in 1977. Director, screenwriter, producer. Studied literature at the Waseda University, started her film career as the assistant of Hirokazu Koreeda, who produced her debut, "Wild Berries." The film received awards at the Yokohama Festival, Mainichi Film Concours and the Japanese Professional Movie Award. Her following, award-winning productions were also well-received. "Sway" (2006) was presented in the Cannes Directors' Fortnight section, its script received the literary Yomiuri award and soon came out as a novel. Nishikawa also published a set of short stories "Kino no kamisama" and a novel "Nagai iwake."


2003 Hebi ichigo / Wild Berries

2005 Fiimeiru / Female (nowela "Megami no kakato")

2006 Kołysanie / Yureru / Sway

2006 Yume ju-ya / Ten Nights of Dreams (nowela "The Ninth Dream")

2009 Drogi doktorze / Dia dokuta / Dear Doctor (2009)

2012 Marzenia na sprzedaż / Yume uru futari / Dreams for Sale

2016 Długie przeprosiny / Nagai iiwake / The Long Excuse

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