hsi (2002)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Run Time - 117 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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This low-budget independent film from Japan directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita (Hazy Life) is a wry satire on the bursting of Japan's economic bubble. Hiroshi Yamamoto and Tomoko Kotera play Daisuke and Hisako, a young couple who, having fallen deep into debt trying to market a health drink they invented called Akajiro, travel from Tokyo to the small island town where Daisuke's family lives to try to start over. While Daisuke's father tries to get him to give up on the foul-tasting stuff and get a job to pay off his debts, the couple's lives become further complicated by Daisuke's old high school friend Ozaki (Takeshi Yamamoto) -- who runs a grocery store with his father and won't even stock his old friend's product -- and Madoka (Yuko Hosoe), Daisuke's old flame, who now plies the world's oldest profession at the "Tracy Lords Massage Parlor." Much of the plot -- and humor -- revolves around the conflict between Daisuke's stubbornness and bad judgment and Hisako's practical determination to succeed.

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