Tora-san, Wish You Were Here

Yamada Yoji

IFFR 2020

The Tyger Burns

  • 116'
  • Japan
  • 2019

In 1969, Yamada Yōji released the first film featuring his irascible anti-hero Kuruma Torajirō, or Tora-san for short: a salt-of-the-earth type from Shibamata in Tōkyō's Katsushika ward, which through the series became the epitome of lower-middle-class Japan – a reliable old world of decency and straightforwardness where the liberal and the conservative found an almost impossible balance. Until the death of comedian Atsumi Kiyoshi in 1996, 47 more films were made, all but two under the direction of Yamada. However, as Atsumi was Tora-san, the series had to end, with a beautiful meta-coda called The Rainbow Seekers (1996), which considers all the Tora-sans of the world as cinema's true soul.

Tora-san, Wish You Were Here is another coda: a meditation on time's grace and horror, as well as an elegy for a lost world. But maybe through remembering it, we can keep some of its values alive? Let's find our Tora-san!

Director
Yamada Yoji
Premiere
International premiere
Country of production
Japan
Production Year
2019
Festival Edition
IFFR 2020
Length
116'
Medium
DCP
Original title
Otoko wa tsuraiyo okaeri Tora-san
Language
Japanese
Producer
Hiroshi Fukasawa
Production Company
Shochiku Co., Ltd.
Sales
Shochiku Co., Ltd.
Screenplay
Yamada Yoji, Asahara Yuzo
Cinematography
Masashi Chikamori
Editor
Iwao Ishii, Kazuhide Ishijima
Production Design
Mitsuo Degawa (Production Design Supervisor), Tomoko Kurata, Shoko Yoshizawa
Music
Naozumi Yamamoto, Junnosuke Yamamoto
Cast
Kiyoshi Atsumi, Chieko Baisho, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Kumiko Goto, Gin Maeda, Ikewaki Chizuru, Mari Natsuki, Ruriko Asaoka