Katsu (Koji Yakusho), a 60 year-old lumberjack and widower, lives in a small tranquil village in the mountains. When a film crew suddenly arrives to shoot a zombie movie, Katsu finds himself unwittingly roped into assisting the production and is increasing frustrated by the pushy crew- especially the young, seemingly spineless director Koichi (Shun Oguri, Boys Over Flowers, Crows Zero).
However, an improbable friendship soon develops between Katsu and Koichi, as Katsu comes to appreciate the filmmaking process, and helps Koichi to gradually recover his sense of self. Soon, their bond inspires an unusual collaboration between the villagers and the film crew.
Actor Koji Yakusho has built an illustrious filmography and is one of the most revered actors working in Japan today. Ranging from Shall We Dance? and Thirteen Assassins, to Babel and Memoirs Of A Geisha, Yakusho’s performance as lonely lumberjack Katsu is played with the right mix of ennui, authority and small town naiveté.
Director: Shuichi Okita
Producers: Shiro Sasaki, Satoshi Arashi
Writer: Fumio Moriya
Cinematographer: Yuta Tsukinaga
Editor: Takeshi Sato
Sound: Wataru Iwamaru
Cast: Koji Yakusho, Shun Oguri, Kengo Kora, Asami Usuda, Kanji Furutachi, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Born in 1977, Shuichi Okita studied film at the Nihon University College of Art. His short film, Pots and Friends (2002), won the Grand Prize at the Mito Short Film Festival. His first feature, The Wonderful World, was released in 2006. After writing and directing TV dramas, he directed his second feature, The Chef of the South Polar (2009), which enjoyed a long theatrical run and earned him wide acclaim.
Special Jury Prize – 2011 Tokyo International Film Festival