Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yakuza Moon

Author(s): Joshua
Location: NY

"Yakuza Moon"

Written and Directed by Masayuki Suo
Produced by Shôji Masui & Yoshimitsu Morita
Based on the Memoir by Shoko Tendo
Distributed by Focus Features
Film Editing by Tim Squyres
Cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto
Art Direction by Melo Hinojosa
Costume Design by Mark Bridges
Original Score by Ryuichi Sakamoto

Main Cast

Rinko Kikuchi - ..Shoko Tendo
Ken Watanabe - ..Hiroyasu Tendo
Koari Momoi - ..Satomi Tendo

Tagline: "The Powerful Story of a Woman's Life Within the Closed World of Japan's Yakuza Society"

Synopsis: She was born in the winter of 1968, a yakuza's daughter. She was the third out of four children to Hiroyashu and Satomi Tendo. They originally lived in Toyonaka in the north of Osaka, but when she was very young, they moved in a brand new house in Sakai where she had a swimming pool in which she played in all day throughout the summer and a cherry tree, which was kind of friend to her. She would sit under it's branches everytime she had worries or problems, and there was no doubt that she had alot of them. This is the true story of a gangster's daughter; This is the story of Shoko Tendo.

Yakuza scums is what the Tendo family was usually reffered to, but it seemed that despite all the aching words from others, the family survived by having eachother. They made the best of every situation. Hiroyashu would always buy his children gifts when he could and even though he was very strict, they knew he loved them. It was moments like these that made Shoko miss her father when they arrested him. Things only got worst when after that.

Everyone of the neighbors seemed to be gossiping about them. It was also the time Shoko experienced serious discrimination. At school, she was called "the yakuza kid" and was treated like an outcast. Her elementary school years turned into six years of constant bullying. It was these harsh experiences that led Shoko to the wrong path as she grew older; Joining a girl gang led to a speed habit and a eight-month sentence in juvenile detention. Even when released, she couldn't escape the world of yakuza's. She endured beatings and eventually sank into a suicidal depression that nearly destroyed her when her mother died. In time her father will be released. What then?. Will she blame him for all the dreadful events of her life or will she just simply hug the only man that really cared about her in the world. We'll just have to wait and see.

What the Press would say:

With emotional intensity, Japanese director Masayuki Suo brings us a great look at a father-daughter relationship that is quickly ruined due to the terrible society in which they live in. Based on the incredible memoir by Shoko Tendo herself, Yakuza Moon is no doubt one of the year's best foriegn language films.

Rinko Kikuchi (Babel), giving the performance of her career, plays Shoko Tendo. Her whole life has been torture. Constant bullying in school only led her towards a bad road of drugs, poverty, and beatings. The only to people that she knew cared about her were her mother and father. After her father was arrested, the family couldn't maintain. They consatntly had money issues. Later on Shoko's mother will die in her arms. That moment leaves Tendo suicidal. The only thing stoping her is the news of her father's release. Opposite Kikuchi is the great Ken Watanabe as her father Hiroyasu Tendo. He's a family man who is involed in Japan's yakuza (gangster) society. He tends to leave that world awayf rom his family, but it always tends to find them. His older son couldn't get married because he was a yakuza. The family couldn't go to funerals because others felt disgusted by them. He soon is arrested for mob-related crimes, leaving his family in poverty. When released, his wife has already died and he tries to get the rest of his family back together. He later dies himself.

Yakuza Moon is a film that will grab hold of you and never let go until the very end. Shoko Tendo is very brave to tell her true life story and we will like to thank her for making this remarkable film come to life. This film is one not to miss and it's sure to become a classic.

For Your Consideration:
Best Picture
Best Director
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Actress - Rinko Kikuchi
Best Supporting Actor - Ken Watanabe
Best Ensemble
Best Film Editing
Best Cinematography
Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design
Best Origianl Score

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