Ishii Yūichi owns the rent-a-family company Family Romance, LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Tokyo. He and his staff, subjects of an extensive 2018 New Yorker portrait, specialize in acting as the family members who cannot take on their expected roles – often due to addiction or shame. If it hadn't already existed, Werner Herzog would undoubtedly have been proud to have created it himself. A small step then to cast Ishii as himself, with intriguing, sometimes moving results.

At a busy spot in Tokyo, Ishii waits for young Mahiro (12). He has been contracted by Mahiro's mother to act as the father the girl has never known. She seems to realize nothing and their clumsy, bitter-sweet relationship is central to the film. Herzog alternates this tale with showing the work process, the detailed preparations, but also the reasons why people turn to Family Romance, LLC for help.

Filmmaker
Werner Herzog
Country
USA
Year
2019
Medium
DCP
Length
89’
Language
Japanese
Producer
Roc Morin
Production Company
Skellig Rock
Sales
Film Constellation
Writer
Werner Herzog
Editor
Sean Scannell
Sound Design
Mark Mangini
Music
Ernst Reijseger
Cast
Yuichi Ishii, Mahiro Tamimoto