Anrakuto – Hikaru Suzuki


Anrakuto tells a real story between a broken Japanese family and an illegal immigrant from South Korea. They find a new balance in their relationship, and together they form an offbeat new family.


Synopsis of Anrakuto

A girl’s family is a typical example of Japan’s no-relationship society (muen shakai). Although they have a home, they rarely go back to live in it nor see each other. One day, Hiroshi, an illegal immigrant from South Korea, shows up and falls in love with the girl’s mother. The man then lives in their house and has nothing to do. He is unable to work outside due to his special status, and Hiroshi is even a fake name. But strangely enough, the girl’s families gradually return home after Hiroshi’s appearance. They find a new balance in their relationship, and together they form an offbeat new family.

Hiroshi especially enjoys looking out at the sea and his hometown on the other side. Will he be able to return to South Korea one day?

Anrakuto is an innovative experimental and docufiction film which combines both documentary and fictional material to tell a real story.


36 minutes | English subtitles | HD (1920×1080)
Japan, Korea | 2011
Director/Producer: Hikaru Suzuki

Awards & Film Festivals

1. Winner of Grand Prize, 2012 Cine Drive
2. Official Selection, 2015 Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions
3. Official Selection, Tama New Wave ‘Un Certain Regard’, 2011 Tama Cinema Forum

Highlight Endorsement

“Through a slow pace of narrative disclosure, this unusual story emerges and is not only psychologically intriguing, but encourages us to consider what a ‘family unit’ can mean, and how there is, perhaps, no such thing as a normal family.”
Tokyo Photographic Museum

“Suzuki’s style is to shoot the facts of truth with a free and daring documentary manner, including reenactment forms, as if it was a fiction. “Anrakuto” is one of the most successful works that should be called a masterpiece. I can’t forget the surprise when I watched this at first time. Is this a true story? I inquired Suzuki-kun unintentionally. Of course it was really true. But this surprise is not solely due to the power of fact. Hikaru Suzuki’s line of sight is amplifying the power of fictional documents.”
Atsushi Sasaki, Film Critic

Reasons for Recommendation

1. The film intertwines very intimate voice of the girl talking about her family, a point of view from outside actors, and director Hikaru’s personal feeling about an offbeat family into the narrative linear time.
2. The director Hikaru utilizes the cinéma vérité (truthful cinema) technique by interacting with the girl to reveal the truth.
3. Anrakuto allows audience to watch an artistic approach between film and contemporary art.

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