Shinkokyû no hitsuyô   2004   Japan Breathe In, Breathe Out
Breathe In, Breathe Out Image Cover
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Director:Tetsuo Shinohara
Studio:Shinkokyu Associates
Writer:Yasuo Hasegawa
IMDb Rating:7.3 (107 votes)
Awards:1 win
Duration:123 min
Tetsuo Shinohara  ...  (Director)
Yasuo Hasegawa  ...  (Writer)
Sayaka Kaneko  ...  Etsuko Kawano
Karina  ...  Hinami Tachibana
Saburo Kitamura  ...  
Sayaka Kuon  ...  Misuzu
Masami Nagasawa  ...  Kanako Doi
Hiroki Narimiya  ...  Daisuke Nishimura
Nao Ohmori  ...  Yutaka Tadokoro
Shôsuke Tanihara  ...  Shuichi Ikenaga
Taeko Yoshida  ...  
Takahide Shibanushi  ...  Cinematographer
Takeshi Kobayashi  ...  Composer
Comments: This is a feel good ensemble piece that doesn't do anything special except offer a couple hours quality time spent in Okinawa. The performances are all quite good despite a cliched script. It's about a group of six or seven people who are escaping something and come to cut sugar cane for a month in the countryside. When they are just hanging out and playing around it's a lot of fun but each time it tries to get dramatic and the characters reveal what it is they are escaping from, you gotta roll your eyes. It's not that big a deal, though. The discourses are short and the director seems to know that the drama isn't the selling point. It's the bonding of some drifting souls with each other and with their marvelous Okinawan host family. The film doesn't aim very high and is better for it because it does seem to hit right what it's aiming for. A nice diversion from more serious films.


Summary: The film begins with five getting off a boat together at a tiny port, but barely speaking to each other, even after they realize they are all there to cut cane for the same old couple, Granny (Taeko Yoshida) and Grandpa (Sabu Kitamura) Taira.

Outgoing Hinami (Karina) has been temping in Tokyo and looking for a new direction (and, as it soon seems obvious, a new man); moody, sharp-tongued Daisuke (Hiroki Narimiya) is a college boy on vacation; tall, thirtyish, sagely smiling Shuichi (Shosuke Tanihara) doesn’t seem to belong (but is Hinami’s idea of Mr. Right); ditzy Etsuko (Sayaka Kaneko) arrives dolled up for a resort vacation, right down to her long, painted nails; shy Kanako (Masami Nagasawa) looks like a squelched virgin and says nothing beyond her name.

Their foreman is the brisk, bronzed Yutaka (Nao Omori), who helps the Tairas every year and makes a living going from harvest to harvest, something like an educated migrant worker, with options.

None of the five newbies quite realized what they were getting into: 35 days of back-breaking labor. If they fail to cut the cane, their kindly hosts, the Tairas, will face ruin. Yutaka, camp-counselor-like, tries cajoling them into something resembling enthusiasm and competence, but the work goes slowly as resentment builds. They are free spirits and privileged children of the middle class — not slaves! Finally Etsuko and Daisuke, the two most disgruntled of the lot, make their escape. Will anyone but Yutaka and the Tairas be left when the 35 days are up?

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