Ichijiku no kao (Faces of a Fig Tree) (2006)

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Japanese writer-director Kaori Momoi's feature Faces of a Fig Tree (AKA Ichijiku No Kao) observes the tragedies that begin to pull apart the ties of the Kadowaki family. The story opens with the clan rough-hewn but tightly-knit by the bonds of intimacy. Circumstances start to go awry when the patriarch suddenly and without substantial explanation accepts a night job on a construction site, thus raising suspicions of infidelity in his wife. Another member of the family, Oto, then dies of a brain hemorrhage; Masaa, the mother, cracks up emotionally; and Yume, the daughter, learns that she was actually adopted by her parents. Stylistically, Momoi's production designer, Kimura Takeo (a longtime collaborator with Suzuki Seijun) utilizes bright, garish colors and hyper-stylized set design that make the film thoroughly unique. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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