JAPAN / 2015 / Japanese / Color / Blu-ray / 80 min
Director, Script, Photography, Editing, Sound: Okamoto Mana
Music: Lantern Parade
Sound Editing in cooperation with: Arai Shunpei
Producer: Asai Kazuhito
Source: Okamoto Mana
Because of her parents’ divorce, the director’s family—her father, mother and grandmother, elder brother and his wife—all live apart from one another. The director visits each of them as they lead their separate lives. Although they have regular conversations, and she watches as her mother and brother spontaneously break out dancing, the once-happy family reflected in their home movies is no more. The director reflects on the past, the present, and the very significance of having a family. And when they get together for the first time in a long time for her brother’s wedding, her father stands up uninvited, to address the assembled guests . . .
[Director’s Statement] The question of what someone who doesn’t know anything about my family or me might think of this film about very personal family matters was constantly on my mind.
I feared the film would be seen as indulging in very personal emotions. I worried that, at best, people might come away from the film thinking, “Good for you. But what’s your point?”
But society itself is comprised of individual connections and thoughts.
And at times, close proximity can prevent people from revealing certain things to each other.
The journey that I have taken with the family I happen to have been born into—whether coincidentally or inevitably—and the conflict between our memories of the past and the present are sure to strike viewers as familiar, since all people have childhood memories buried deep inside as well as ties to others.
I believe those memories lead up to this moment and to the future.
I’d be honored if this film is able to nudge even a few people to rediscover boxes of important memories from their past.
In the span of a lifetime, a family experiences a lot of joy and pain, as well as a lot of fun. I hope you get to see my movie.
Born May 26, 1988, Okamoto Mana resides in her hometown of Hakodate, Hokkaido. Her hobbies include sleeping, drinking, and watching movies, and she is getting ready to open a cafe called rose garden with her mother in the Onuma district of Hakodate. She moved to Tokyo when she was 18 and as an aspiring actress, subsequently appeared in independent films and music videos. She later worked as a kindergarten teacher, in a bar, as a housekeeper, and as a ticket taker at a racecourse, but unable to let go of her passion for films, she decided to make one, figuring it out as she went along. Distance is her first film.