Sweating the Small Stuff
Edaha no koto
Car mechanic Ryutaro paces around his life, full of confidence – but there’s something holding him back. Over the span of a few days, we see him break his routine of working and drinking with periodic visits to Ryuko – a surrogate mother since his own mother passed away when he was a young child. Ryuko has fallen gravely ill and does not have much time left.
A Japanese expression referring to peripheral matters, the original title of the film conjures up an image of leaves on the outermost branches of a tree. Far away from the trunk, they can be blown away at any moment and forgotten forever. Based on personal experiences, writer-director Ninomiya Ryutaro stars in his own film on the fragility of life, and stages it in the very places the events took place. Pain and regret are hidden in his stony-faced strides.