Description: The JCCC is proud to announce the launch of its 2010 monthly film series with Hajime Kadoi’s powerful 2007 film Vacation (Kyuka). The film has been a film festival favorite around the world, most recently winning the Special Jury Prizes at the Dubai International Film Festival and the Raindance Film Festival in London.
In Kyuka, Kaoru Kobayashi plays Hirai, a middle-aged prison guard who becomes close to a Death Row prisoner and then volunteers to become his "crutch" (sonaeyaku) when the Justice Minister signs his execution order. A "crutch" is expected to hold on to the death row inmate when they make their final walk to the gallows and hang on to them until the trapdoor drops. In return for taking on such a stressful task, the person is usually given a weeklong vacation prior to the execution. Hirai then spends his week off work going through an omiai arranged marriage with single mother Mika, played by Nene Otsuka.
This film is based on a short story by Akira Yoshimura, the author of the novel that Shohei Imamura’s film “The Eel” was based on. A man who had idled his days away until then finds himself facing a huge obstacle that he must overcome in order to re-evaluate his life. This film deals with the darkness in the heart of the death row inmate who has been deprived of all hope, the anguish of the prison guards who are burdened with their appointed task of robbing the inmate’s future, and the feelings of profound sadness and love of the people in these men’s lives.
The portrayal of the days leading up to the execution and the new family’s modest first trip together highlights the happiness and family ties of each character in this story, creating a solid, moving drama about people who are forced to squarely face life and death.
The 2010 JCCC film series is generously supported by the Royal Bank of Canada.
Date: Thursday January 28, 2009
Admission: $6 for JCCC members, $8 for non-members
Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010
Official Website: http://www.jccc.on.ca/calendar/view_entry.php?id=333&date=20100128
Added by Kalidor on December 12, 2009