This is the story of an old couple. He is going to his office day after day and keeps clinging to the recurrence of the ever same. In the evenings, when he is coming back from work, she has his slippers ready for him, and helps him to put on his home jacket. The couple is living in rural Bavaria, the children far away in Berlin, one of their sons even fled as far as Tokio.
Compromises, estrangements, frictions. As it is so often in families, as far as I know. No racy dramaturgy, no fast cuts, no spoon-fed story. No action heroes, no beauties, with huge lips like frog legs. No happy ending.
There is time for your own perception.
A cat is crossing the road; a fly is sitting on a windowpane. There is a feel of “Heimat”, (homeland, home) and a touch of narrowness.
The man is terminally ill, but he doesn’t know it. She is struggling with herself. She wants to inform him. She is keeping still. Then she is the one who is dying first. She was dreaming of Butoh, a Japanese dance, but the world she lived in, didn’t permit her to come closer to her dreams. She always wanted to see the Fuji, “the shy mountain”. Now her conservative, inflexible man travels to the end of her dreams, without her, all alone.
He is mourning. He is remembering. He is beginning to understand bits and pieces.
There would be more to tell, about frightening mega polis Tokyo, about a handkerchief knotted around a pole serving as a direction sign in this labyrinthine foreign place, about a young Japanese woman and her pink phone, about cabbage rolls and cherry blossoms.
But it’s no use retelling a movie.
A movie by Doris Dörrie, a movie that shows that she is not stuffed with her own importance, as sadly, some men of a certain age. She still is learning: her outlook is still changing. She is changing. “Hanami-Cherry Blossoms” is mirroring this.
I am reposting this entry. It somehow disappeared from my blog´s archives. Last saturday I encountered this movie again. It moved me more than you can imagine.