AJ and I was able to catch the last 2 days of Cinemalaya 7 and we wanted very much to watch “Isda (Fable of the Fish)” but when we got to Greenbelt 3 last Saturday, all seats were taken for the 6:30 p.m. screening.
We ended up watching Japan’s entry to the festival: “German + Rain” which was originally released in 2007:
The movie was less than an 1-hour long, and it’s about a misfit, Yoshiko, just 16-year-old and is living alone. Her grandma, who took care of her when her parents divorced, is dead. Her mother was already dead and her father is in the hospital suffering some mental-related disorder.
She wanted very much to become a singer and a mother with kids (in this order) so she works as a gardener’s assistant to earn a living. She works with this German cutie who speaks fluent Japanese and when finally she was able to enter a singing competition, she ruined it because she sent her friend’s photo (who is cute, tall and has a model-figure). She also played a teacher to 3 young boys, teaching them the recorder (some kind of a flute) and one of them grew fond of her because he is a gay (at a very young age, mind!) and Yoshiko understood this and allowed him to cross-dress using her old school uniform.
The movie, like most of the art films I’ve seen in the past, do not have a linear plot and you have to be patient enough to see to the end to understand the totality of the main character’s story. In the case of Yoshiko, she was a kid who was thrust into a world she is not yet ready with – the world of adulthood and responsibliities. She is very much a kid who still wants to play. I loved the scene where she and the elementary kids where playing dodge ball at a tournament and when she lost to a boy much younger than her, her face was just so funny but scary at the same time.
As for the title, German + Rain, it was the title of the song she composed and sang for her German co-worker and we in the audience we’re laughing so hard at the lyrics. Too bad I wasn’t able to put it on paper. It was crazy and something a 10-year old, and not a 16-year old, girl would write.
At the end of the movie, I came to love Yoshiko because of her diskarte in life and while she was not able to achieve her dreams, she made an impact to those people around her. Too bad the last scene of hers was at the hospital bed (she dropped into a hole by her own doing) and we were left to guess if she died or lived.