Sixth grader Renko struggles with her parents divorce in this poignant coming-of-age drama. Told through young Renko’s perspective, it is a charming visual translation of a child’s perspective.
Renko (Tomoko Tabata) is an energetic and cheerful teenager. She is in the sixth grade and lives with her parents in a small modern apartment in the idyllic city of Kyoto. Renko's life takes a drastic turn when her parents decide to separate, and her father moves out. Director Shinji Sôma's masterpiece, Moving, has been challenging to come by until this year when it finally received a long-awaited restoration treatment, presented to full audiences at the Venice Film Festival.
Moving depicts the transition from carefree childhood to the more worrisome adult world. The film impressively shifts from being a humorous drama to a serious one, and finally, into what almost resembles evocative magical realism. Tomoko Tabata's child performance, who was the same age as Renko when the film was shot in 1993, is among the most impressive I can recall. The combination of playfulness, vulnerability, seriousness, childlike innocence, and wisdom brings to mind the Danish master director Nils Malmros's Tree of Knowledge.
In addition to being a poignant and tender portrayal of a child caught between her parents and their desires, Moving is also a beautiful and poetic homage to adolescence, with all the roller-coaster rides of emotions it entails.
A big thank you to Montages editor Lars Ole Kristiansen for the tip about the screenings in Venice.
Shinji Sômai (1948 - 2001) was a Japanese director. In 1972, he began working as a directing assistant for the Nikkatsu film studio. He directed his first film, Tonda Couple, in 1980, and his second film, Sailor Suit and Machine Gun, in 1981. The latter became a major success and was regarded as one of the best Japanese films of that year. Since then, Sômai has made several films that have inspired filmmakers worldwide.
This film is part of
Original title お引越し (Ohikkoshi)
Director Shinji Sômai
Screenplay Satoshi Okonogi, Satoko Okudera, Hiko Tanaka
Cinematography Toyomichi Kurita
Producer Hiroyuki Fujikado, Kei Ijichi, Hirohisa Mukuju, Masahiro Yasuda
Cast Kiichi Nakai, Junko Sakurada, Tomoko Tabata, Mariko Sudo, Taro Tanaka, Ippei Shigeyama, Nagiko Tôno
Runtime 2h 5m
Age limit 12