Hanging Garden

Toyoda Toshiaki
Japan, 2005, 113 minutes
Japanese with English subtitles
US Premiere

Roxie Cinema 2/04, 215p Buy
Roxie Cinema 2/08, 7p Buy

We are honored that Toyoda Toshiaki (Blue Spring 02) will return to IndieFest for the US Premiere of his 6th film, Hanging Garden. When he joined us to present 9 Souls at the 2004 IndieFest, Toyoda-san mentioned a new film based on the best-selling novel by Mitsuyo Kakuta. When I heard about Hanging Garden I was ecstatic; his extraordinarily beautiful (and sometimes unsettling) films feature stunning visuals, rocking soundtracks and always have a lasting impact. He's not at all afraid to show a Japan that is neither pretty, cute nor sweet. His works are believable because they are human and real. Then he assured us: "It's a film about normal family life." Uh huh. I thought 'normal' eh? Watch out....

"We never conceal the truth, no subject is taboo. We try to share everything with each other." – The Kyobashi family's rule. Although they maintain the pretense of the 'good family,' each member harbors secrets and tells lies. Daughter Mina habitually skips class to sleep with men she hardly knows at Wild Monkeys – the 'love hotel' where she was conceived. Her younger brother Ko is a classic 'otaku' who lives within his computer and rarely removes his headphones. Their father Takashi is deluded and keeps himself busy having affairs, while mother Eriko struggles to relate to her mother while being haunted by memories of her childhood – spent in total isolation from society. Normal?
– Mike Skurko

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