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Sawako Decides 12 rating

Sawako tries to save her father's ailing clam-packing business, but it's an uphill struggle, in Yuya Ishii's joyous, nuanced, comic drama.

Comedy 2010 112 mins

Director: Yuya Ishii


With her father taken ill and his clam processing business going belly-up, Sawako leaves behind her humiliating job in Tokyo to move back to her rural hometown. But the elderly female workforce resents and despises her, her hopeless boyfriend (a divorcé with a young daughter and a knitting habit) tracks her down, and Sawako begins to despair of ever making sense of her life.

From the opening colonic irrigation scene, immediately followed by an episode in a Tokyo office where wretched new toys are being tested on spoilt-brat infants, it's clear that Japan's indie maverick Yuya Ishii is going to give us a quirky, memorable ride. His sixth film is a real stand-out: a joyous, nuanced, comic drama about female empowerment.