director TAKAHASHI Gen | 2015 | 114 min.
Retired teacher Masaaki Takaoka is breeding a new Sakura variety to secure world peace forever. His eccentricity causes his family trouble but he is resolved to win the whole world for his cause. He even calls the leading politicians so that a secret service starts paying attention. Inspired by a real story, the humorous yet deeply humane film portrays the rural Japan in the early 1970s. Director Takahashi Gen soothes the soul with every shot, making viewers realise acutely the innate sense of the old man’s effort: at the end of his life, to come to terms with having bid farewell to his students leaving for war and seeing only one of them come back. He wants to grow more resilient Sakura trees to help prevent future wars. The film excels with its imagery, lighting, situation humour and obviously with the excellent Takashi Sasana in the lead role, also known from Okuribito, Love and Honor and other films.