“Kyohei, who has retreated into himself after several psychological wounds, finally begins to appreciate the preciousness of live, ironically through dealing with death.” (2011 World Film Festival of Montreal schedule book, pg. 58)A movie about bullying and about the fact that, today, our modern lifestyle put so much distance between people that we don't know how to connect with each other anymore. But, above all, it offers the intriguing parallel between the life of a young man who has been broken by tragedy and the work he is doing for a moving company for the deceased: as he sorts through the possession of death people -- to separate trash from what's worth keeping -- he is slowly sorting through his own memory and feelings to learn how to live again.
Some have found the movie a little too slow, but it uses lots of "unspoken dialogue" where much is "said" by a gaze, a facial expression or body language. It takes longer to pass information to the viewers and takes much more skills from both the director and actors, but in the end it is a more satisfactory experience. We also must not forget that healing broken people is quite a slow process well reflected in the pace of the movie. The two young actors are quite good. Well worth seeing.
Antoki no Inochi (Life back then): Japan, 2011, 131 min.; Dir.: Takahisa Zeze; Scr.: Tanaka Sachiko, Takahisa Zeze (Based on the novel by Masashi Sada); Phot.: Atsuhiro Nabeshima; Ed.: Junichi Kikuchi; Cast: Masaki Okada, Nana Eikura, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Akira Emoto, Rei Dan,Yoshiko Miyazaki, Kanji Tsuda. Screened as part of the “Official Competition” segment at the Montreal World Film Festival 2011, on August 18th, 21:30 in Théatre Maisonneuve. It has won the “Innovation Award” at the 35th Montreal World Film Festival.