Bbc documentary japan a story of love and hate relationship

Japan: A Story of Love and Hate () - IMDb

JAPAN: A STORY OF LOVE AND HATE. Sean McAllister. Japan/GB, Documentaries, 59min, OmeU Tenfoot Films BBC, NHK Japan It is a strangely symbiotic relationship – “She hates me, I need her”, Naoki laments –, but somehow. for a BBC documentary entitled Japan: A Story of Love and Hate. Naoki is impotent, and their relationship is cold and dysfunctional. Japan: A Story Of Love And Hate is an exemplary film, featuring perhaps the most Naoki sees his relationship with Yoshie like father and daughter. Prize, Ismailia International Festival for Documentary & Short Films, Giza, Egypt – Best BBC2 – A Northern Soul · BBC World Service · Sight and Sound · BFI · VICE.

The film follows a year-old postal worker living on the poverty line.

Japan A story of love and hate

After reading several reviews praising the film and seeing that it won two awards each at the Honolulu Film Festival and the Yamagata International Documentary Festival, I decided to watch it last night. The film follows Naoki Sato, who works part-time as a mailman, driving one of those loud, red motorcycles from the post office that go past my apartment in swarms at 5: As a youth in the s, Naoki was a member of the Communist Party and was involved in the massive youth protests at the time.

While Naoki works only part-time, Yoshie works 15 hours a day, including as a hostess at a club.

Japan: A Story Of Love And Hate (reviews) | Sean McAllister

She comes home drunk every night hostesses are expected to drink with the customers and ridicules Naoki for his lack of money. Naoki is impotent, and their relationship is cold and dysfunctional.

Naoki keeps a collection of about 50 pairs of glasses that Yoshie has broken. They stay together because Naoki has somehow convinced Yoshie that she needs him for protection. I had several problems with this documentary. In addition to the bouncy, headache-inducing, Bourne Ultimatum-worthy camera work, Japan: Dead poor, for a start, and miserable.

bbc documentary japan a story of love and hate relationship

A place of stupid rules and intimidation at work the kind of intimidation that makes your spirit rot, says Naokiof battling just to stay afloat, of depression and high suicide numbers. Except for the lovely Naoki, a rare maverick, the nail in the Japanese proverb that stands out and should be banged in, but that has somehow escaped the hammer.

And this is a brilliant, original film. Man, is it depressing, though.

JAPAN: A STORY OF LOVE AND HATE | Viennale

There may even be love later: Sean has brought a packet of Viagra. And then they all go out to a bar, to sing. Hope through karaoke, as so often is the way. Two weeks ago Marcel Theroux showed us the wrong way, bouncing off in wide-eyed search of the spiritual concept of Wabi Sabi and coming back with the news that it was all very Japanese and unknowable.

And last night Sean McAllister showed us the right way in Japan: A Story of Love and Hate. There he came across an eccentric called Naoki Sato. Naoki Sato, a part-time post office worker with a Beatles haircut, was that outstanding nail, and how he had been hammered!

A former Maoist revolutionary, he had enthusiastically taken up capitalism in his thirties and owned two companies, a bar and a BMW.

  • Review: ‘Japan: A Story of Love and Hate’
  • Japan: A Story of Love and Hate

Now 56, he lived in a tiny windowless room, his only break from the housework the seven hours a day that he spent collecting insurance premiums for the post office. I suppose you could say that Yoshie sold oral sex.

Film series reveals more than just foreign take on Japan

But she and Naoki no longer talked themselves. All you could guess from her tabula rasa face was that she despised him and you would guess wrong. What was splendid about Naoki was that this instinctive dissident in a congenitally conformist society had an albeit mordant sense of humour. Everywhere he took us, tragedy and comedy jostled for the foreground.

bbc documentary japan a story of love and hate relationship

Naoki had a friend called Mr Mushroom Man because he obsessively picked wild mushrooms. But Mushroom Man also had his tale. His brother, crushed by a business culture of bullying, was among the 30, Japanese who kill themselves each year.

McAllister, however, had had intimate conversations with both men and saw a chance for them to connect over a shared gift of Viagra.

bbc documentary japan a story of love and hate relationship

At first this peace offering looked like a shocking breach of etiquette, but the gesture opened things no end. Suddenly Naoki had a family again.

bbc documentary japan a story of love and hate relationship

The film produced a true and unexpected insight. Instead of going to Japan to look for answers, the West might credit itself with having worked out, in the past few decades, some of its own. After living in Japan for two years, McAllister was getting nowhere in his efforts to make a revealing documentary about the country.

She comes home drunk every night hostesses are expected to drink with the customers and ridicules Naoki for his lack of money. Naoki is impotent, and their relationship is cold and dysfunctional.

Naoki refuses to meet Yoshie's family, fearing they will reject him since he is the same age as Yoshie's father the two men eventually bond over their common erectile dysfunction. In one scene Yoshie intentionally breaks Naoki's glasses for the camera. Naoki keeps a collection of about 50 pairs of glasses that Yoshie has broken. They stay together because Naoki has somehow convinced Yoshie that she needs him for protection.

JAPAN: A STORY OF LOVE AND HATE

He also subjects her to regular guilt-trips, telling her that he couldn't survive without her and she would have to be unbelievably selfish to break up with him which I think could be considered a form of domestic abuse in some jurisdictions. I had several problems with this documentary. In addition to the bouncy, headache-inducing, "Bourne Ultimatum"-worthy camera work, "Japan" is not an accurate portrayal of the Japanese or life in Japan.

bbc documentary japan a story of love and hate relationship

But about five minutes in, I unfortunately realized the film would have a very narrow focus. The film begins with McAllister jogging through his town in rural Yamagata Prefecture. He has been in Japan for two years although he says it has felt like five making a documentary about "what makes Japan tick. McAllister portrays the Japanese as cold, hostile people. While the Japanese are a little more reserved than Westerners, and don't have the large circles of casual acquaintances that is normal in the West, I find most Japanese to be much more welcoming and friendly than they are portrayed in the film.