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  • Japan Premiere



Yanagawa [漫长的告白]

Director: ZHANG Lu (张律)

2021|China, Japan, Korea|112 min|Language: Chinese, English, Japanese|Subtitles: English, Japanese

Date Time Venue
3/10 Thu 19:00 Umeda Burg 7: Theater 6 《Opening》
3/15 Tue 11:45 Cine Libre Umeda 4
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NI Ni (倪妮)
ZHANG Luyi (张鲁一)
XIN Baiqing (辛柏青)
IKEMATSU Sosuke (池松壮亮)
NAKANO Ryoko (中野良子)
Ninon (新音)

Yanagawa" (漫长的告白), the latest film by ZHANG Lu (张律), which he shot on location in China and Japan, is a cross-border drama addressing issues of East Asian identity, shared history, and mortality, as explored through a love story that blurs memory with the present.

We are first introduced to two brothers with very different personalities but a shared love interest. Introspective younger brother LI Dong (ZHANG Luyi (张鲁一)) has received terrible news: stage four cancer. Without telling his fiery older brother LI Chun (XIN Baiqing (辛柏青)), LI Dong suggests the two leave Beijing and take a trip to Yanagawa, the “Venice of Japan.” His reason for going there is LIU Chuan (NI Ni (倪妮)), the woman the two brothers both loved 20 years previously before she disappeared. They never really stopped loving her and so the beautiful locale of Yanagawa becomes the landscape that draws out their shared memories, loneliness, and vague hopes for a future that is never promised.

About the cast and crew

The Chinese cast are led by ZHANG Luyi, lead in “The Devotion of Suspect X” (嫌疑人X的献身/2017), XIN Baiqing, who appeared “The Eight Hundred” (八佰/2020), and NI Ni, who appeared in ZHANG Yimou (张艺谋)’s war film “The Flowers of War” (金陵十三钗/2011). The Japanese cast includes IKEMATSU Sosuke (池松壮亮), the lead in TSUKAMOTO Shinya(塚本晋也)’s “Killing” (斬、/2018) and last year’s OAFF closing film “The Asian Angel” (アジアの天使/2021), and veteran actress NAKANO Ryoko (中野良子), who shot to fame with her turn in the TAKAKURA Ken (高倉健) action-thriller “Manhunt” (君よ憤怒の河を渉れ/1976).

ZHANG Lu is a Korean-Chinese filmmaker whose works are often international co-productions with stories that focus on cross-cultural interactions in different parts of Asia. He began his film career with the short “Eleven” (2001), which was screened at the Venice Film Festival before making his debut feature “Tang Poetry” (2003). Since then, he has been a festival fixture with “Grain in Ear” (2005) which won the New Currents Award at Busan and the ACID award at Cannes Critics’ Week, “A Quiet Dream” (2016), which was the opener at Busan that year, and “Ode to the Goose” (2018) which played at OAFF 2019, and "Fukuoka,” his first film shot in Japan, which received its world premiere at the 2019 edition of Berlinale.

“Yanagawa” is ZHANG's first Chinese-language film in 11 years since "Dooman River” (2010), after a career mainly based in Korea. It had its world premiere screening at Busan and was the opening films for the Pingyao International Film Festival.

Director's Message

Love is an enigma; for the spectators and even more so for the smitten ones.

To hold an enigma is to hold the desire to unravel it. But what happens? Time and space will give birth to a bigger mystery. Nevertheless, we persist passionately on this wander, occasioned by song and dance.

Distributor in Japan
Foggy, Iha Films

Director: ZHANG Lu (张律)