Okuma Katsuya
Japan | 2011 | 41 min
Language : Japanese
Subtitle : English

Young Yosuke finds a substitute father in Kame-chan, an old man living in a public park, under the observant eye of the Amerasian Rickey. Okuma Katsuya’s film, set in the capital of Okinawa, is both fable and documentary. It tells the story of a longing for relationship that throbs with the history of this half-American, half-Japanese island whose status is still disputed.

Gift is an unusual exemple of the documentary genre. A native of Okinawa, Okuma Katsuya observes the growing-up of a young lad, Yosuke. In the opening sequence, he is being told a fable by his grandfather, over images of a tomb filmed in black and white. On this spot, a policemen once arrested a thief, whom he later discovered was the brother of his fiancée. This mysterious explanation is a last will and testament, since the ancestor dies. An orphan left to his own devices, Yosuke hangs around the family tomb in Naha, the rapidly developing capital of the island. There he meets Kame-chan, an old outsider, who lives in the park where he was once gardener, before being retired. With this social reject, the child re-establishes something of a father-and-son relationship, watched by Rickey, an Amerasian. Developing on shifting ground, between fiction and reality, Gift, as the title suggests, is a moving story of grace: that of two very different beings who share their dreams and loneliness for the duration of the film.

Emmanuel Chicon

Translation BMP Translations

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