Reel Asian Film Festival 2018 Review: WISH YOU WERE HERE (China/Japan 2018)

China, Japan 2018 Rated PG 113:00 Mandarin, Japanese with English subtitles North  

“What’s kept hidden has its own power on us.”

On the eve of her latest fashion showcase in Beijing, successful entrepreneur Yuan Yuan is approached by Keiko, a mysterious young Japanese woman. An admirer of Yuan Yuan’s career, Keiko has learned Mandarin and fashion design for a chance to speak with her idol. As Yuan Yuan takes Keiko under her wing, long suppressed memories begin to surface of her time in Hokkaido and the husband she’d left behind.

Yuan Yuan finally builds up the courage to visit the small town she left behind more than 20 years ago in order to confront her past decisions and face her deepest fears. A journey of forgiveness and reconciliation, Wish You Were Here marks Kenneth Bi’s return to Reel Asian. His latest feature, a co-production between China and Japan, is an examination of a woman traversing through modernity and tradition; youth and maturity; past and future. -KE

 

Directed by Kenneth Bi

Kenneth Bi’s third film follows the tone of his early films THE DRUMMER an RICE RHAPSODY – slow and pensive.  I am not really a fan of Bi as his films require a bit of patience to reap their rewards. 

 On the eve of her latest fashion showcase in Beijing, successful entrepreneur Yuan Yuan is approached by Keiko, a mysterious young Japanese woman.  An admirer of Yuan Yuan’s career, Keiko has learned Mandarin and fashion design for a chance to speak with her idol.  As Yuan Yuan takes Keiko under her wing, long suppressed memories begin to surface of her time in Hokkaido and the husband she’d left behind. 

 Yuan Yuan finally builds up the courage to visit the small town she left behind more than 20 years ago in order to confront her past decisions and face her deepest fears.  A journey of forgiveness and reconciliation, his latest film is an examination of a woman traversing through modernity and tradition; youth and maturity; past and future. 

 The closing night film.

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