In 1895, the photographer and explorer Felice Beato returns to Japan after a lengthy absence to look for his former Japanese wife O-Kiku. He writes a letter to his brother Antonio about events on his trip. He talks about his nostalgia for the old Japan, that has changed too rapidly, about his inability to understand the world without looking through the viewfinder of a camera and, more important, about his yearning for his long-Élost love O-Kiku. Felice's journey takes him from Nagasaki via Moji, Onomichi, Mount Fuji and Yokohama to Tokyo. He once visited these places in the company of O-Kiku and he now finds incomplete memories. The encounters with people who take an interest in him, all end in misunderstandings and disproportionate expectations. Felice just can't manage to get through to the people he meets. The Japanese in turn understand little of his contemplative lethargy. Felice... Felice... is inspired by the 19th-century photos of Felice Beato, Baron von Stilfried, Hikoma Ueno and others. Felice's journey is shown with the aid of these beautifully hand-tinted photos. The film can however also be regarded as a Kammerspiel, so it could be shot entirely in the studio in Holland. The role of Johan Leysen as Felice is a true tour de force, certainly when one remembers that he had to learn his Japanese text off by heart phonetically.

Filmmaker
Peter Delpeut
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Netherlands
Year
1998
Medium
35mm
Length
99’
Language
Japanese
Producer
Pieter van Huystee Film & TV, Ariel Film Produkties, KRO Televisie
Sales
Fortissimo Films
Cast
Johan Leysen, Keiko Miyamoto, Rika Okemoto, Togo Igawa, Toshie Ogura, Noriko Sasaki, Megumi Shimanuki, Yoshitaka Ota