KOIBUMI (LOVE LETTER)
Director: Tanaka Kinuyo
Mayumi Reikichi is a well-educated former naval officer who does occasional translation work which his brother finds for him so that he can have time to search for Michiko, the woman he loves. Michiko’s parents had forced her to marry another man despite her love for Reikichi. He returned from the war to find out that Michiko’s husband had died and that Michiko had run off to live somewhere in Tokyo. While searching for her, Reikichi bumps into his old friend Yamaji, who invites him to join in his distinctly odd profession: writing love letters for the Japanese mistresses of American servicemen who need the money from abroad to survive. With his fluency in English, Reikichi begins writing letters but one day, resting in the back of Yamaji’s shop, he hears a woman who sounds just like Michiko. When he runs after her, he discovers that it is Michiko. But instead of greeting her, Reikichi accuses her of immorality for sleeping with an American. Michiko, ashamed, leaves promising never to see him again. Reikichi’s brother, concerned about his recent habit of drinking, visits Michiko. He pleads her to meet Reikichi again and she promises to meet him, but he never appears. On the way back from the meeting place, the brother and Michiko run into prostitutes that know her. Michiko insists she only had one relationship with a kind soldier, but, fearing no one belives her, she tries to commit suicide by jumping in front of a car. Reikichi, convinced by Yamaji to forgive Michiko, visits her apartment only to learn about the accident. He and Yamaji speed off to the hospital in a car.
Tanaka Kinuyo is considered one of the most promising young talents in the Vietnamese film industry of the last 10 years. In 2013 he made his first short film 16:30 which won several awards and participated in the Cannes Film Festival. With Rom, which is her first feature film, Tran Than Huy tries to represent the dynamics of lottery gambling, which, despite being illegal in Vietnam, are quite popular among middle-class families like the director himself, who in order to move up socially can gamble with their house, family and even their lives.
Tuesday 24th November