London’s Raindance Film Festival returns from 26th September to 7th October with a handpicked selection of independent filmmaking from across the globe. This year is a fairly thin one for East Asian cinema, but there are a number of films from Japan, many of which are making their world premiere at the festival, as well as two from China.
A Crimson Star (Japan, World Premiere)
Shy schoolgirl Yo bonds with nurse Yayoi during a hospital stay. When she runs into her again some time later it’s under very different circumstances – Yayoi has become a sex worker. Trapped in an abusive home, Yo eventually decamps to Yayoi’s and demands to stay the summer, but Yayoi’s burgeoning romance threatens to destroy their fragile bond…
Bad Poetry Tokyo (Japan)
Jun works in a hostess bar to save money to move to LA and pursue her dreams of becoming an actress, but having suffered violence from a customer and a romantic betrayal she decides to abandon the capital for her peaceful hometown. However, there are troubles to be found everywhere, not just in Tokyo….
Feelings to Tell (China, World Premiere)
A painter journeys into the mountains and falls in love with a local girl destined to become a mountain goddess.
Love at Least (Japan, World Premiere)
Yasuko suffers with a sleep disorder as well as manic depression and is looked after by her boyfriend Tsunaki (Masaki Suda) but their relationship is threatened by the resurfacing of Tsunaki’s ex.
Matsuchiyo – Life Of a Geisha (Japan, World Premiere)
Ghostroads director Ken Nishikawa returns to Raindance with an extremely personal documentary as he examines the life of his mother – a geisha.
Room Laundering (Japan)
A Japanese real estate law requires landlords to inform prospective tenants if something unpleasant has previously happened in the property, but it doesn’t specify how long you need to keep that up. Thus some unscrupulous types have come up with a “room laundering” scheme in which they get people who don’t mind a little unpleasantness to move in for a short period of time to “purify” the living space. Miko is just such a woman and the arrangement suits her well enough, until, that is, she develops the ability to see ghosts. Review.
The End of Wind (China)
A white collar worker in the middle of an existential crisis, an ex-con recently released from prison after being convicted of a crime he did not commit, and a refugee from North Korea seek release but find only more emptiness in the debut feature from Fog Forest.
Raindance Film Festival takes place at Vue Piccadilly, 26th September to 7th October. Tickets are already on sale via the official website. You can also keep up with all the latest details via the festival’s official Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, and YouTube channels.