Category: 14th Japanese Film Festival

JFF14 Opening Night: About Her Brother

Cancer kills more characters in Japanese movies than any other disease excepting that old standby "noble sacrifice through vehicular accident/drowning to save the life of a stupid child”, which is epidemic. Cancer can be omnipresent, it can develop alongside the plot, or it can creep up on you at the end and kill you off in a reconciliatory way.

This is a preamble to saying that the Japanese Film Festival has consistently had strong representation from characters with cancer across the years. Many movies will wear their cancer on their sleeve, while others will spring it on you in ways that can only be construed as ridiculous. About Her Brother presents itself as a "home drama” that the promo material promises will contain the spectre of terminal illness.

With that thought in the back of my mind, I eagerly waited for the titular character to be struck down. Fortunately he's a fictional character so I'm allowed to think this, but that doesn't mean I relished his demise.