20 Films you cannot miss at the 19th Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection (Part 1)


We present a list of twenty films you cannot miss at the 19th Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection which will take place from May 28th – June 2nd, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Note: Ticket presale started on May 11th, for more information please visit the Nippon Connection website:

About the festival: The Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection is the biggest platform for Japanese cinema worldwide and takes place at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Theater Willy Praml in der Naxoshalle and further locations in Frankfurt am Main. The unique film and supporting program offers a varied experience of Japan from tradition to modernity.

In 2018, more than 16,500 visitors and around 300 accredited professionals came to the events. Since the year 2000, the festival has been organized by the non-profit organizationNippon Connection e.V. The patrons are the consulate general of Japan in Frankfurt am Main and Peter Feldman, mayor of the city of Frankfurt am Main.

And Your Bird Can Sing

And Your Bird Can Sing by Sho Miyake – Japan | 2018 – 106 minutes

A young man spends the summer with his new girlfriend and his roommate, drifting through clubs in Hakodate. While they slowly form a ménage à trois, they realize their unusual bond will not last. Sho MIYAKE’s melancholic generation portrait includes the most atmospheric club scene ever caught on film. (JFFNC Catalogue 2019)

May 29th | Wednesday | 16:30pm | Mousonturm Saal
May 30th | Thursday | 19:45 pm | Mal Seh’n Kino



Asako I & II by Ryusuke Hamaguchi – France, Japan | 2018 – 119 minutes

One day, the man Asako thought she would spend her life with suddenly disappears. Two years later, she meets his perfect double. But her troubles are far from over. Director Ryusuke HAMAGUCHI’s film manages to be psychologically nuanced and ambiguous, yet full of humor at the same time. The impressive score and elaborate photography provide additional heft to the main themes.

May 29th | Wednesday | 17:30 pm | Mal Seh’n Kino
June 2nd | Sunday | 16:30 pm | Mousonturm Saal


Blue Hour

Blue Hour by Yuko Hakota – Japan | 2019 – 92 minutes

Trying to escape the frustrations in her life, Sunada decides to go on a road trip to her old hometown with her best friend. But reuniting with her family opens old wounds. In impressionist images and with a strong subjective touch, Yuko HAKOTA finds an intimate approach to her characters, while reflecting on the challenges and promises of human relationships.

June 1st | Saturday | 12:00 pm | Naxoshalle Kino



Complicity by Kei Chikaura – Japan | 2018 – 115 minutes

Chen Liang, a young Chinese living as an illegal immigrant in Japan, lands a job at a traditional soba restaurant where the master chef introduces him to the art of making soba. Yet, Chen lives in constant fear that his true identity might be revealed. Kei CHIKAURA’s moving feature debut depicts how an illegal immigrant tries to find his place and identity in Japanese society.

June 2nd | Sunday | 17:15 pm | Naxoshalle Kino


Fly me to the Saitama

Fly Me To The Saitama by Hideki Takeuchi – Japan | 2019 – 107 minutes

Momomi, the son of Tokyo’s governor, often told he looks like a girl, falls in love with the mysterious Rei. Soon Momomi has to decide between his family and Rei. The latest extravagant adaptation of the eponymous manga plays like Romeo and Juliet on speed with added sugar frosting and high octane action.

May 29th | Wednesday | 19:15 pm | Mousonturm Saal
June 2nd | Sunday | 14:00 pm | Mal Seh’n Kino


From All Corners

From All Corners by Ryusuke Okahima – Japan | 2018 – 93 minutes

Fuyuki SHIMAZU loves cardboard – especially when it’s colorful. He gave up his job to become a cardboard picker. With meticulous movements he transforms waste into wallets. For him, it is not just following a trend, it is a whole philosophy: See importance in everyday life and be careful with your resources. Director OKAJIMA transports this artist’s compelling message through video, photography, and animation.

May 28th | Tuesday | 19:45 pm | Naxoshalle Kino



Hardcore by Nobuhiro Yamashita – Japan | 2018 – 124 minutes

With a sense of dry humor, director Nobuhiro YAMASHITA’s new comedy follows Ukon, a pure-hearted guy strangely prone to sudden outbursts of violence, and his homeless friend Ushiyama. They earn some money by working as miners for an old nationalist activist who believes in the existence of a hidden treasure in an abandoned mine. One day, Ushiyama finds a time-worn robot. “Robo” becomes a loyal companion to both friends and helps them out of more than one predicament.

May 31st | Friday | 22:30 pm | Mousonturm Saal
June 1st | Saturday | 22:45 pm | Mal Seh’n Kino


I go gaga my dead

I go gaga, my dead by Naoko Nobutomo – Japan | 2018 – 102 minutes

Director Naoko NOBUTOMO started filming the everyday routines of her 85-year-old parents, who still live alone in their home. Along the way, she documents the development of her mother’s Alzheimer’s, showing both the bright and dark sides of her parents’ life together. The intimate confines of the film create a private, natural picture, one that brings out many beautiful moments despite its heavy subject matter.

May 29th | Wednesday | 17:15 pm | Naxoshalle Kino



Jam by Sabu – Japan | 2018 – 102 minutes

An overzealous fan kidnaps pop star Hiroshi, Tetsuo is trying to shake off his former gangster colleagues and Takeru hopes to awaken his comatose girlfriend by doing three good deeds per day. The latest thriller comedy by SABU is fast paced, highly energetic and completely unpredictable.

May 28th | Tuesday | 22:30 pm | Mousonturm Saal
May 29th | Wednesday | 22:00 pm | Mal Seh’n Kino



Jesus by Hiroshi Okuyama – Japan | 2018 – 77 minutes

Ten-year-old Yura moves with his parents from Tokyo to his grandmother in rural Japan. There, he must attend the Christian school and has to adjust to its beliefs and daily worships. Puzzled at first, he begins to believe in the power of the Lord, as a tiny Jesus appears, who seems to fulfill all his wishes. JESUS is a genuine and sensitive portrait of a boy making up his own mind about the world.

May 30th | Thursday | 19:45 pm | Naxoshalle Kino


Too see the second part of this article please go HERE.

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