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November 07, 2011

Starz Denver Film Festival 2011 - Yukiko


Haruka Motoi - 2010
Digital presentation

Taking place over a period of about three days, Yukiko is about a young woman who suddenly finds herself adrift in Paris after an argument with her boyfriend. Sitting on a street corner, Yukiko is taken in by another Japanese woman, Mitsue, who works as a translator. The offer to spend the night becomes an offer of temporary housing until Yukiko can find work and an apartment. As it turns out, the following morning, Yukiko's mother shows up in Paris, officially to check on her daughter, but with an agenda of her own.

This is a slight film that essentially concludes that men are unreliable, and women can only count on each other. I have no problem with that premise. What defied credibility was the setup of Yukiko, knowing a bit of English and no French, going to Paris to become a singer. The weakest part of Yukiko is the title character. Better realized are Mitsue, a Japanese woman navigating her way between two cultures both professionally and personally, and the mother, in Paris to seek out the lover who left her pregnant with Yukiko.

Motoi made the film primarily with a French crew, and a cast of French based Japanese actors. What I've gathered through IMDb is that the actors have had smaller roles in French films and television. Hiromi Asai, who plays Mitsue, is in one of the few films to get international distribution, Heartbreakers, starring Roman Duris. More high profile is cinematographer Rodolphe Seraphine with his own website.

Posted by peter at November 7, 2011 08:15 AM