April 2023 | Film Committee

©2023 Fantasia

Join us on Tuesday, April 25 at 6 p.m. for a sneak preview of Junji Sakamoto’s new jidaigeki period drama, Okiku and the World, an audacious — and hilarious — blend of potty humor and cutting social commentary set amidst the fecal ubiquity of mid-19th century Edo. As playful as it is soulful, the film focuses on two unlikely protagonists, Yasuke (Sosuke Ikematsu) and Chunji (Kanichiro), who make their living by collecting human waste from tenement outhouses, before reselling it to farmers in the countryside. Their roles in this sustainable ecosystem are the lowest of the low, but both young men have time to indulge in idle dreams — Yasuke longs to be a storyteller, while Chunji longs to woo the lovely schoolteacher Okiku (Haru Kuroki), who wants to see the world but can't, because she must support her father Genbei (Koichi Sato), a fallen samurai. The aesthetic brilliance of Okiku and the World helps deliver an unexpectedly rich viewing experience. The director and art director-producer Mitsuo Harada will be on hand for a Q&A session after the screening. (Japan, 2023, 90 minutes, in Japanese with English subtitles).

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Karen Severns is chair of the FCCJ film committee