And the Mud Ship Sails Away

Directed by: Hirobumi Watanabe
Japan | 88 minutes

Stubborn, unemployed Takashi leads a pitiful lifestyle; will the sudden arrival of his unknown sister give his life meaning?

As the credits roll you will want to rewind. You will ask your friends and await their varied responses with intrigue. If you love your reflective, refreshingly under-explained and profound slices of independent cinema, you will devour ‘And The Mud Ship Sails Away’ and be wholly satisfied. Part intimate family drama, part surrealist social critique, part mid-life crisis comedy, this beautifully bleak and surprising piece invites you to open your eyes, heart and mind rather than solely asking to engage with your ‘emotions’.

Takashi wakes up each day to a futile existence. Balancing his time between his quiet grandmother and his well-intentioned friend, Takashi is forced to reconsider his empty lifestyle when his unknown sister arrives at his door.

Laced with understated performances and a wonderful sense of comic timing (listen out for the grandmother’s inappropriate laugh), each scene captures a compelling mix of honest humour and bitter sadness. As a result, it’s a pleasure to view a film that subtly enriches our understanding of a lonely human’s disenchantment with social norms, rather than watching yet another film that undermines the complexity of this relationship.

Hirobumi Watanabe
Hirobumi Watanabe
Yuji Watanabe
Hirobumi Watanabe
Woohyun Bang
Kiyohiko Shibukawa
Misao Hirayama
Kaoru Iida
Original Format