Tribeca Breakdown: "Odayaka"

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The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff as a result to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the consequent loss of vitality in the TriBeCa neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. The festival now draws an estimated three million people — including often-elusive celebrities from the worlds of art, film, and music.
3.5

One of the last films I saw at this years Tribeca Film Festival was the Japanese movie “Odayaka”. I tully didn’t know much about the film except that it had subtitles, and that it was about the terrible earthquakes that hit Japan in 2011. I was surprised by the film and ended up enjoying it very much by the end. I think it was because I was waiting to see a lot of the destruction from this terrible tragedy, but it never came. Director and Screenwriter Nobuteru Uchida decided to go a different route than I had envisioned. He focused the film on two woman Saeko (Kiki Sugino) and Yukako (Yukiko Shinohara) who live far from the disaster area but suspect they are being affected. These woman, and their families, live next door to each other but are really not involved in each others lives. As Saeko becomes increasingly worried about the radiation levels getting higher in the city she franticly tries to warn people about it, but they all see her as paranoid and over-protective. Meanwhile, Yukako struggles with her own issues which are only made more clear to her as fear spreads throughout the country.

I found the film very gripping in the first act, then a little slow, and then gripping again. I couldn’t believe the acting abilities of Kiki Sugino. There were some points when I thought the film was a documentary because her acting was so good. I also very much enjoyed how the story tells about people that were not in the disaster area but will more than likely suffer because of it.

This film was a wonderful edition to Tribeca and recommend that you go see it.