The Funeral (1984 film)

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The Funeral
The Funeral DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Juzo Itami
Produced by Seigo Hosogoe
Written by Juzo Itami
Starring Tsutomu Yamazaki
Nobuko Miyamoto
Kin Sugai
Asao Sano
Hideji Otaki
Release date
November 17, 1984 (Japan)
March 16, 1987 (USA)
Running time
124 min.
Country Japan
LanguageJapanese

The Funeral (お葬式, Osōshiki) is a 1984 Japanese comedy film by director Juzo Itami.

Contents

The film shows the preparations for a traditional Japanese funeral. It mixes grief at the loss of a husband and father with wry observations of the various characters as they interact during the three days of preparation.

The Funeral was the writing and directing debut of Itami Juzo, and was an enormous success in Japan. It won five Japanese Academy Awards in 1985, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor for Tsutomu Yamazaki. [1] It was nominated in a further five categories and also came first in the annual Kinema Junpo critics' poll.

Plot

Shokichi Amamiya (Hideji Otaki) is a difficult 69-year-old man, married to Kikue (Kin Sugai). He dies suddenly of a heart attack, and it falls to his daughter Chizuko (Nobuko Miyamoto) and son-in-law Wabisuke Inoue (Tsutomu Yamazaki) to organize the funeral at their house.

Among other things, the family have to choose a coffin, hire a priest, hold a wake, learn formal funeral etiquette and hold the service itself.

During the three days of preparation, various tensions within the family are hinted at, such as resentment of a rich but stingy uncle, Inoue's affair with a younger woman, and possibly an affair the dead man himself had with a female gateball player.

After the service, the long suffering wife delivers a dignified speech to the family regretting that the hospital would not let her be with her husband as he died.

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References

  1. 第8回日本アカデミー賞優秀作品 (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 March 2013.