Film Review: My Man

Article by Pui See Tsang
Photo credit Niko

Based on Kazuki Sakuraba’s controversial best seller, My Man is a disturbing tale of a man and an adolescent girl who are fatefully brought together by a natural disaster in Hokkaido, the northernmost part of Japan. Hana (Fumi Nikaido) is a 10 year-old girl who loses everything in the 1993 tsunami in Okushiri. She was promptly taken in by a 26-year-old distant relative named Jungo (Tadanobu Asano). Hana and Jungo form a makeshift family and start living together as father and daughter, united by their sense of irrevocable loss. A few years later, Jungo begins to frequently leave a fast growing teenage Hana alone for long periods of time. This causes Hana and Jungo to fight, damaging their relationship. My Man is lead by three generations of Japan’s greatest actors, Tadanobu Asano (Last Life in the Universe, Café Lumière, Mongol), Fumi Nikaido (Why Don’t You Play in Hell?), and veteran actor Tatsuya Fuji (In the Realm of the Senses).

My Man is a powerful film directed by award-winning film-maker Kazuyoshi Kumakiri and starring three generations of Japan’s greatest actors, all with strong overseas presences: Tadanobu Asano, Fumi Nikaido and Tatsuya Fuji. Kumakiri first starred in the 1997 film Kichiku, which won the Grand Prize at the Taormina International Film Festival in Italy. Hole in the Sky (2001) was Hollywood actress Rinko Kikuchi’s debut lead role and won the FIPRESCI Prize and a Special Mention at the Rotterdam Film Festival. 2003’s Antenna screened in the Venice competition. 2010’s Sketches of Kaitan City also won prizes in France and Asia. With My Man, Kumakiri carefully crafts the story of a man and little girl fatefully united by the 1993 earthquake and tsunami in Okushiri, Hokkaido who develop a love story.

My Man is an entertaining and thoughtful love story that will be enjoyed by a large audience. It will bring its audience to tears, and connect viewers through its passionate story and characters.

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