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My Sweet Grappa Remedies

Amai osake de ugai
dir. Akiko Ohku
Japan 2019, 107’
subtitles: Polish and English

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Polish premiere
Theatrical Screenings
St 19 Nov, 15:15
Kinoteka 1
Kinoteka 1
Mo 21 Nov, 17:45
Online Availability
16 Nov, 10:00 – 4 Dec
Additional Materials
Awards and festivals
World premiere: Japannual Japanese Film Festival Viennal 2019
Japan 2019
Duration: 107’
director: Akiko Ohku
screenplay: Jiro (Sissonne)
cinematography: Natsuyo Nakamura
editing: Hiroyuki Yoneda
music: Masaki Takano
cast: Yasuko Matsuyuki, Haru Kuroki, Hiroya Shimizu
producer: Rina Takashima, Ujikatsu Omori, Kasumi Yao
production: C&I Entertainment
language: Japanese
colouration: colour

Film description

Yoshiko likes the simple things in life – she rides her bike, goes shopping, and observes the world around her. She works in a corporation, and in the evenings she likes to sit and sip Italian grappa. But Yoshiko begins to notice a sort of emptiness in her routine. She is single and forty – Japanese society views her as a loner who doesn’t contribute to the collective social organism. But her isolation will be broken by a friend and a relationship with a much younger work colleague.

A distinctive feature of Akiko Ohku’s work is her fondness for the world of office ladies, women employed in huge corporations as semi-glorified paper pushers. The director depicts the oppressive, patriarchal dynamics of the Japanese society in a subtle way. In the foreground of My Sweet Grappa Remedies is the energy of sisterhood – Ohku’s protagonists are usually women in their 30s who choose their own path in spite of society’s pressure to give up work and start a family. They show us their foibles, their bizarre habits and their choices, which often defy rigid social expectations. The result is a rich and colorful depiction of their everyday lives. Ohku’s movies are full of a unique kind of cringe and boundless eccentricity, but also deep empathy, especially striking against the background of corporate coldness. In interviews, Ohku says this is her way of drawing self-portraits; through her protagonists’ neurotic behaviors, she underscores her independence in the world and the movie industry. She achieves something incredibly rare in Japanese cinema – a balance between breezy narration, in-depth scrutiny and feminist engagement.

Łukasz Mańkowski

Akiko Ohku

Japanese film director, born in 1968 in Yokohama. She studied political sciences at Meiji University, but soon decided to switch to studying film at Eigabi School. Her movies often depict neurotic women in their 30s and the realities of huge corporations. She achieved her breakthrough in 2017 with Tremble All You Want, shown at many international festivals.


1999 Igaito Shinanai

2007 Koisuru Madori

2013 Tadaima, Jacqueline

2015 Fantastic Girls

2017 Drżyj, ile chcesz / Tremble All You Want / Katteni furuetero

2019 Moje słodkie trunki / My Sweet Grappa Remedies / Amai osake de ugai

2020 Hold Me Back / Watashi wo kuitomete

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