×

“Fragments of the Last Will,” a post-WWII prisoner of war drama, has been set as the opening title of next month’s Tokyo International Film Festival. It is directed by Zeze Takahisa.

The festival, which runs Oct. 24-Nov. 2, 2022, will close with “Living,” directed by Oliver Hermanus and starring Bill Nighy. The film is a reworking of Kurosawa Akira’s 1952 classic “Ikiru,” with a revised screenplay by Ishiguro Kazuo.

“Fragments” is based on the true story of Yamamoto Hatao, a Japanese prisoner of war detained in a Siberian gulag. He believed that he would be able to reunite with his wife and children in Japan and for eleven years fought to keep the light of hope alive for his fellow POWs.

The picture stars Ninomiya Kazunari, Kitagawa Keiko, Matsuzaka Tori, Nakajima Kento, Terao Akira, Kiritani Kenta and Yasuda Ken. It will enjoy a commercial release in Japan, via Toho, on Dec. 9, 2022.

The festival described “Fragment” as “deeply moving.” “[It] exceeds the scale of ordinary Japanese films,” said Tokyo IFF head programmer, Ichiyama Shozo. “We are very pleased to be able to open the festival with the world premiere.”

Zeze has had a prolific and mildly controversial career as director and screenwriter. His early years saw him work in the ‘Pinku Eiga’ or erotic film movement. Later, he alternated between commercial titles like “64: Part 1” and “The Eight-Year Engagement” and art-house titles “The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine” and “Heaven’s Story.”

“Living” is the story of an ordinary man, reduced by years of oppressive office routine to a shadow existence. At the eleventh hour, he makes a supreme effort to turn his dull life into something wonderful — into one he can say has been lived to the full.

“The masterpiece from Japan’s renowned director Kurosawa Akira has been remade with prestige in the U.K., and the emotion of the original has been vividly revived. We are proud that this film will close the festival in the [original] film’s birthplace,” said Ichiyama.

‘Living,’ a British remake of Kurosawa Akira’s ‘Ikiru’ will close the Tokyo IFF.