April Films: Tokyo Story and Cherry Blossoms

This month: one of Japan’s greatest classic films paired with a contemporary homage by one of Germany’s finest directors, set during cherry blossom season.

Friday, April 17, 6:30 pm (doors open at 6:00)
Tokyo Story
Dir. Yasujiro Ozu, 1953, 136 min.In Japanese with English subtitles

One of Japan’s most acclaimed films, both domestically and internationally, Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story delicately but devastatingly critiques 20th century family values. An elderly couple travels Tokyo and Osaka to visit their adult children, but finds that only their widowed daughter-in-law receives them warmly, while the others find ways to push them aside. Without drama or fanfare, we nonetheless experience the heartbreak of their neglect. Tokyo Story, says film critic Roger Ebert, “lacks sentimental triggers and contrived emotion; it looks away from moments a lesser movie would have exploited. It doesn’t want to force our emotions, but to share its understanding.”

Free Admission
Please RSVP at jftor.org/tokyo-story


Thursday, April 23, 6:30 pm (doors open at 6:00)
Cherry Blossoms
Dir. Doris Dörrie, 2008, 127 min.
In German and Japanese with English subtitles
co-presented by the Goethe-Institut Toronto

German filmmaker Doris Dörrie mirrors the themes and plot of Tokyo Story in her 2008 film Cherry Blossoms. As in Tokyo Story, a mother, Trudi, dies unexpectedly after she and her husband Rudi pay a disappointing visit to her children and grandchildren in the city. However, Dörrie continues where Ozu leaves off, exploring Rudi’s regret over Trudi’s unfulfilled desires to study Butoh dance and visit Mount Fuji. Visiting his expat son in Tokyo, Rudi works through his grief in this deeply personal and affecting story of loss and redemption.


Free Admission
Please RSVP at jftor.org/cherry-blossoms