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Japan: A Story of Love And Hate (2008)

“This was an exemplary film, featuring perhaps the most eye-opening depiction of modern Japan I’ve ever seen” [Paul Whitelaw, The Scotsman]

Naoki 56, had it all in Japan’s bubble economy days: he ran a business with 70 staff, drove a brand new BMW, and lived in a 6 bedroom house. But when Japan’s economy crashed in the early 1990’s he lost everything, ending up divorced (for the third time) and penniless.

He was saved from being homeless by his new girlfriend, Yoshie 29, who took him in, despite living in a tiny one-room apartment with no windows. At his age, the only job Naoki can find is part-time at the post office. Here, part-time means working 7 hours a day and earning just £4,000 a year. Yoshie now has to find extra jobs to support him: working 15 hours a day in 3 jobs.

Each evening Yoshie leaves Naoki at home to do the housework and heads to a sleazy chat bar, where she is paid to drink, flatter and flirt with married men. Sometimes she comes home drunk and teases Naoki about his poor income. After taking her nightly dose of sleeping pills, she cannot remember anything.

Naoki sees his relationship with Yoshie like father and daughter. He admits since losing his business he has lost his confidence and his ability to have sex with Yoshie. Their life is a love story of survival in the world’s second richest economy.

“In being a portrait of a couple as well as the impossible pressure of Japanese culture, McAllister’s film is compelling.” – © Will Hodgkinson, The Guardian

See a selection of reviews for Japan: A Story Of Love And Hate

Japan: A Story Of Love And Hate. BBC, NHK (2008)

Broadcast Premiere – Japan, NHK, January 9, 2009. Director Sean McAllister, Editor Ollie Huddleston, Photography Sean McAllister, Sound Sean McAllister, Producer Sean McAllister & Johnny Burke, Production Company Tenfoot Films.

Awards and Nominations

YIDFF, Yamagata, Japan 2009 – Special Prize + Citizen’s Prize, The Norwegian Documentary Film Festival, Volda, Norway 2009 – Best International Documentary, Nodo Doc Fest, Trieste, Italy 2009 – Special Jury Prize, Ismailia International Festival for Documentary & Short Films, Giza, Egypt 2009 – Best Documentary.

Japan: A Story Of Love And Hate on IMDb