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Two years after his wife's unexpected death, Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a renowned stage actor and director, receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya at a theater festival in Hiroshima. There, he meets Misaki Watari (Toko Miura), a taciturn young woman assigned by the festival to chauffeur him in his beloved red Saab 900. As the production's premiere approaches, tensions mount amongst the cast and crew, not least between Yusuke and Koji Takatsuki, a handsome TV star who shares an unwelcome connection to Yusuke's late wife. Forced to confront painful truths raised from his past, Yusuke begins -- with the help of his driver -- to face the haunting mysteries his wife left behind. Adapted from Haruki Murakami's short story, Ryusuke Hamaguchi's Drive My Car is a haunting road movie traveling a path of love, loss, acceptance, and peace. Winner of three prizes at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, including Best Screenplay.
“There are no flashbacks in this spanning, humanistic epic, a choice that coincides with the theme of what’s ahead and not what’s in the rearview mirror of the past. Characters come alive not in visions of who they were but in the product of those experiences, in who they are now. In the delicate, patient touch of Hamaguchi’s directing, characters cease to be idealized confections made of words and ideas on the page of a scribe. Their transmutation into the bodies of the cast members happens by osmosis, it appears, to impart not patronizing wisdom but an empathetic revelation that feels lived-in. A thoughtful and tearful ride in which the destination is a spiritual confrontation with oneself, “Drive My Car” devastates and comforts through its vehicular poetry of the sorrow from which we run, the collisions that awaken us, and the healing gained from every bump in the road.”— Carlos Aguilar, Roger Ebert
Sun April 3, 2:00 PM, Muenzinger Auditorium
Japan; 2021; in Cantonese, Mandarin, German, English, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Tagalog; 179 min • official site
Writer: Haruki Murakami, Short Story: Haruki Murakami, Screenplay: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Screenplay: Takamasa Oe, Cast: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura, Masaki Okada, Reika Kirishima, Park Yu-rim