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Hebi Ichigo (Wild Berries) (Japan Version - English Subtitles) DVD Region 2

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Hebi Ichigo (Wild Berries) (Japan Version - English Subtitles)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Also known by the English title Wild Berries, Hebi Ichigo is a dark and off-kilter comedy from twenty-nine year-old director Miwa Nishikawa, a protege of internationally-acclaimed director Hirokazu Kore-eda. The Akechis are a normal, seemingly typical middle-class Japanese family that has its superficial mask ripped away when the daughter brings her fiance home for the customary introduction to her parents. On the surface, the family may seem like any other, but bubbling just out of sight are the twisted workings of a traditional Japanese family dissected and dismembered by the insidious social pressures of contemporary Japanese society. Family members are revealed as uncaring, self-serving, or even demented in their race to cope with the world around them. An intelligent and dark satire about ordinary life, that elicits unexpected and even bitter laughs, Hebi Ichigo announces the arrival of a future filmmaking voice in young Miwa Nishikawa.
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Technical Information

Product Title: Hebi Ichigo (Wild Berries) (Japan Version - English Subtitles) Hebi Ichigo (Wild Berries) (日本版 - 英文字幕) Hebi Ichigo (Wild Berries) (Japan Version - English Subtitles) 蛇イチゴ Hebi Ichigo (Wild Berries) (Japan Version - English Subtitles)
Artist Name(s): Terajima Susumu | Tsumiki Miho | Otani Naoko | Tezuka Toru | Kore-eda Hirokazu | Hiraizumi Sei | Shofukutei Matsunosuke | Miyasako Hiroyuki | Ezawa Moeko 寺島進 | Tsumiki Miho | Otani Naoko | 手塚通 | 是枝 裕和 | 平泉成 | 笑福亭松之助 | 宮迫博之 | 繪澤萌子 寺岛进 | Tsumiki Miho | Otani Naoko | 手冢通 | 是枝裕和 | 平泉成 | 笑福亭松之助 | 宫迫博之 | 绘泽萌子 テラジマススム | つみきみほ | 大谷直子 | 手塚とおる | 是枝裕和 | 平泉成 | 笑福亭松之助 | 宮迫博之 | 絵沢萠子 | 中村俊 Terajima Susumu | Tsumiki Miho | Otani Naoko | Tezuka Toru | 고레에다 히로카즈 | Hiraizumi Sei | Shofukutei Matsunosuke | Miyasako Hiroyuki | Ezawa Moeko
Director: Nishikawa Miwa 西川美和 西川美和 西川美和 Nishikawa Miwa
Release Date: 2004-04-23
Publisher Product Code: BCBJ-1825
Language: Japanese
Country of Origin: Japan
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Publisher: Bandai Visual
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1003121990

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
西川美和 (脚本、監督) / 是枝裕和 (制作) / 中村俊 (音楽) / 宮迫博之 / つみきみほ / 平泉成 / 大谷直子 / 手塚とおる

[テクニカル・インフォメーション]
製作年:2003/製作国:日本/カラー/108分
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Editor's Pick of "Hebi Ichigo (Wild Berries) (Japan Version - English Subtitles)"

Picked By Sanwei
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August 31, 2007

Beauty in the Breakdown
After singing the praises for Yureru, I had to check out Nishikawa Miwa's first film, Wild Berries, and I was not disappointed. Nishikawa truly has an eye for dissecting familial relationships and personalities, and this family drama-cum-black comedy is a wonderful little film.

Wild Berries opens with what seems to be a typical, middle-class family, a bit harried but mostly happy, with daughter Tomoko (Tsumiki Miho) bringing home her fiance to meet the parents. This myth of normalcy gets abruptly shattered though when the family members reveal their selfish selves. The mother, after years of looking after the senile grandfather, looks the other way while he seizures and dies. The father (Hiraizumi Sei), it turns out, has been out of a job for a while, but has kept it a secret from the family. In the meantime, he's racked up quite a bit of debt, and the debtors show up during the grandfather's funeral. Also making an appearance for the funeral is black sheep son Shuji (Miyasako Hiroyuki), who immediately gets on the folks' good side by presenting an envelope full of cash (attained through dubious means). Tomoko is suddenly faced with a family of strangers who have finally shown their true faces. And she - the one who has always done the right thing - has become the outsider, the bad guy for never erring.

One of the most interesting things about the film is how one's perception of Shuji and Tomoko evolve in the course of the film. Tomoko is in all respects the victim - the honest and reasonable representative who has to suffer for the family's mistakes, the one who wants to do what's right. Shuji, meanwhile, steals money at funerals and is clearly trying to con his parents while they're down on luck. And yet as the film progresses, the viewer's interest and the parents' affections increasingly go to Shuji exactly because of his loud personality and flagrant flaws. For the same reason the mother feels suffocated by Tomoko's "goodness", the viewer is increasingly turned off by her frigidness, while at the same time sympathizing with the plight her personality has brought upon herself. Perfect is boring, and the family comes alive after the derailing, allowed to breathe and rage rather than just politely play a role. Nothing of great importance or drama happens in Wild Berries, and yet it manages to make a very telling statement about the modern family and contemporary life.

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