Recently I watched a film titled Kirschblüten—Hanami, a German film that takes place in both Germany and Japan. (It’s called Cherry Blossoms in English and HANAMI in Japanese.) The film revolves around a widower who travels to Japan to realize (sot of) his late wife’s dream of becoming a butoh dancer.
I loved how the film showed the different ways people mourn loss—of loved ones, family members, friends. It also showed how, just because you are related by blood or because you regret something you said or did, it doesn’t mean you treat your family members (living or dead) terribly well. Sad.
My favorite part of the movie was Irizuki Aya (入月絢), who plays the part of Yu in the film. Apparently Irizuki is a dancer and not actually an actress, but you could’ve fooled me by the way she got Yu’s character spot-on—Yu is the one who, without being overly emotional or dramatic, leads the protagonist toward understanding and, in a way, falling love with his wife all over again.
Not much Japanese is spoken in the film, but it’s a wonderful way to see Japan from a fresh perspective. A must-see if you want to enjoy cherry blossoms in the middle of summer.