Today we ramp up our look at the films in the festival, with Samson taking a fine tooth comb to our Wednesday night lineup. You can see his thoughts on the Hitchcock-esque suspense thriller Zero Focus here, or read on to take a trip to the Doctors office with Dear Doctor. Its just 4 days till the festival kicks off in Sydney, so start planning your film lineup!
It’s been 6 months since you left without saying goodbye. There have been a lot of rumours about you, but even if they are all true, we still want to tell you how grateful we are for all the things that you have done for our village over the past few years.
Residents of your village
"A country doctor has gone missing. The police is involved and soon discovers that while most of the village people think remarkably highly of him, there is actually little known about him. As they go on to interview many of those who were closely associated with him, it becomes apparent that he is a man with many secrets...
The title of the film is one of the best I have seen in recent years. Simple, yes, but also deeply meaningful. The film could easily have been called Disappearance of Osamu Ino, but that would not highlight what a special character this doctor is. The word ‘dear’ in the title does not refer to the cost of this doctor’s service (though the movie does hint that he earns a fortune), but how close he is to the villagers and the place he has in the hearts of many of them.
It is ironic then, that his real identity is at conflict with his perceived role of a doctor. I don’t want to discuss this here for it may spoil your viewing pleasure. All I want to say is that the character is flawed but at the same time compelling. Actor Tsurube Shôfukutei (About Her Brother - JFF14) brings the doctor character to life, and impressively achieves so not so much by spoken words, but his facial expressions and body language that perfectly portray the conflicting emotions of pride and guilt experienced by Dr Ino.
The cast is stellar and performances are solid all round. Stand outs include those by Kimiko Yo (A Lone Scalpel - 14th JFF, Departures - 12th JFF) playing the experienced nurse who frequently keeps the doctor out of trouble at times of crisis (and deservingly winning the Japanese Academy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role), Kaoru Yachigusa playing the very ill elderly widow in what I consider an equally impressive performance as Yo’s, and Teruyuki Kagawa (The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones - 14th JFF, Memories of Matsuko -12th JFF) playing the drug company sales representative who perhaps knows the most about the doctor’s secrets.
Don't forget to look out for the stars of "Dear Doctor" in our Opening and Closing night films, Tsurube Shofukutei ("About Her Brother"), and Kimiko Yo ("A Lone Scalpel"). Wednesday promises to be a great day out at Event Cinemas, and we hope to see you there!