Director: Chie Hayakawa Run Time: 112 min. Release Year: 2022 Language: Japanese
Starring: Chieko Baisho, Hayato Isomura, Stefanie Arianne, Taka Takao, Yumi Kawai
In a near dystopian future, Japan’s government launches “Plan 75”, a program encouraging the elderly to terminate their own lives to relieve its rapidly aging population’s social and economic burdens. In Chie Hayakawa’s remarkable and sensitive feature film debut, the lives of three ordinary citizens intersect in this new reality as they confront the crushing callousness of a world ready to dispose of those no longer deemed valuable.
Legendary Japanese actress Chieko Baishō stars as a 78-year-old Michi who considers signing up for the program after losing her meager but fulfilling hotel job and the means to live independently. A young Plan 75 salesman Himoru (Hayato Isomura) initially believes in the program’s benefits and serves as the human face of the program. And Maria (Stephanie Arianne), a Filipino care worker living overseas, reluctantly accepts a position with Plan 75 to send money home to her ailing daughter.
On the surface, the plan and its hawkers exude a kindness that serves as the film’s chilling vision of bureaucratic indifference and our increasing loss of interconnectedness. However, Hayakawa’s view is far from grim, as these characters soon learn to fully reckon with their own lives and what it truly means to live.
In Japanese with English subtitles
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