10 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 23rd Japan Film Festival Hamburg

These are ten films you shouldn’t miss at the 23rd Japan Film Festival Hamburg which will take place from June 22 – 26, 2022 in Hamburg, Germany.

– Selected Films –

Before the Rainbow Falls by Kōji Uehara – Japan | 2021 – 115 minutes

The weak protagonist of an unsuccessful band is not satisfied with his current situation, but is spoiled by having friends and an important girlfriend around him and living a “normal” everyday life. However, a change causes him to lose all of this. (JFFH 2022)


Dark Blue Forest by Nakahira Yasuyuki – Japan | 2021 – 53 minutes

Deep in the Japanese forests. In the near future, Mito visits a mountain village where a strange infectious disease has broken out. A girl appears to be the source of the virus and is threatened by the villagers. At the same time an archaeological site is discovered. The team of scientists called in is the unexpected victim of an accident. Mito, one of the researchers, is obsessed with the hallucination of the girl infected with the infectious disease. (JFFH 2022)


Descent to the Nether World by Ryō Matsumoto – Japan | 2021 – 81 minutes

Kotomi suspects her boyfriend Kenta, employed by a top company, of infidelity. One day she pursues Kenta, who has left the apartment after an ominous phone call, and meets the seductively beautiful Koharu, with whom Kenta embraces with his upper body exposed. With an ice pick in hand, Kotomi pounces on the two…. Meanwhile, Takuya gets his friend Reiji a job as a tutor. Although Reiji didn’t make it to university himself, he accepts the job when he learns that the student is the picture-perfect Shizuko Kusakabe. When he visits the lonely solitary house for initial talks, he is met by the Kusakabe family, who seem so not normal…Tae and Teppei, editors of an occult magazine, visit the famous psychic Arisa Himuro. According to the two, they suspect that the Kusakabes are the cause of the recent cases of people disappearing without a trace, and they ask Arisa to help them find out. What is behind the horror, which falls on the three when seeking out the Kusakabes…? (JFFH 2022)

Eleven Greed by Shingo Soejima – Japan | 2021 – 76 minutes

A once-powerful but now impoverished yakuza family tries to get involved in cocaine smuggling in order to regain their former glory. But something goes wrong when exchanging money and goods. When a few corrupt police officers try to get involved, a gang war threatens to destroy everyone. In the hunt for the money, the spiral of violence keeps turning. Greedy cops and desperate yakuza, surreal humor, a suitcase full of money and a bag full of illegal drugs form the basis for a wild genre cocktail. (JFFH 2022)


Frantic by Shūgō Fujii – Japan | 2021 – 111 minutes

Two hundred people gathered at the theater for a stage performance. A Japanese sword was pointed at them. The performers suddenly take over the theater. The story goes back to six months ago. Tatsuji was in distress. He wanted to put everything into acting. But the reality was different. He just goes back and forth between his part-time job and home. He wants to change his life. Tatsuji and his best friend, Sho, plan to put on a performance. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime bet in a big theater. But they have no money. The two meet a high school buddy who has turned into a yakuza. He says “Nobody succeeds without getting their hands dirty” and convinces them to commit fraud. The share was 2 million yen. That’s enough to put on a show. Their thoughts were about to swallow them up in a wave of mistakes. (JFFH 2022)

Ishidan by Kōichi Kuwata – Japan | 2021 – 71 minutes

Natsuki is a high school student.Her dream is to be a singer but her mother Midori is strictly against it.She tries to blow irritation off by keeping company with bad classmates. On such one day she meets a middle aged Tsutomu man who makes the pilgrimage to the 88 Temples of Kojima.They don’t have good chemistry first, but by chance, they end up making the pilgrimage together. Tsutomu is diagnosed as terminal lung cancer. What would Natsuki do when she gets to know about his disease? How can they both finish to visit all of Kojima’s 88 Temples? And how about Natsuki’s dream? (JFFH 2022)


Kingdom of the Apes by Shūgō Fujii – Japan | 2021 – 77 minutes

A director of a news program was called to an emergency meeting in the boardroom of a TV station on the 27th floor. The reason for the emergency meeting was to discuss whether or not to air a news story he had produced on the covid-19 vaccine. At the same time, in the basement of the TV station, the news about Covid-19 vaccine was being re-edited due to censorship. But then an incident occurred. Suddenly, the door closed, and they could not leave the room. The program directors were baffled. Who is in charge? Who is keeping them locked up? A human drama unfolds between heaven and earth. It soon develops into a revenge drama filled with hatred… (JFFH 2022)


My World by Murantin – Japan | 2021 – 63 minutes

A city with no sign of people. The man who awoke in a park in the corner of the city had lost all his memories of the past. (JFFH 2022)


Oneday, A Woman. by Tetsuya Mitsuhira – Japan | 2022 – 65 minutes

Yuko Sawamatsu (36) was suffering from an affair with a man who had a wife and children. Her stalking man (Morimoto) breaks into Yuko’s mansion and forcibly presses for SEX. Yuko, who resists her, stabs Morimoto with her fruit knife. At that time, the intercom rings … (JFFH 2022)

Resident of Alice by Keiichirō Sawa – Japan | 2021 – 64 minutes

The hurt and anguished emotional cries of young girls play out against the backdrop of a foster home. Tsugumi was sexually abused by her father as a child and is gripped by regret and trauma for not telling her mother. One day, she meets Kenji in whom she confides and begins to see a future for herself, but…. (JFFH 2022)


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