0.5mm / 0.5 Miri / 0.5ミリ
Momoko Ando’s second feature, 0.5mm shows that she’s grown, but not a lot since her pallid debut, Kakera. She adapted her own novel, creating an overlong picaresque tale of Sawa (Sakura Ando), a young woman caught up in the inequities of life and set adrift in the sad, strange world of geriatric Japan. It starts great. Sawa, working as a nurse, is cajoled into spending the night with her barely functioning keep. He gets a little horny and accidently gets set on fire. As she tries to save him he dies. She stumbles downstairs to find his daughter, her employer, has hung herself – her son staring in disbelief. Soon Sawa is on the road on her own, crossing with and taking advantage of a series of lost old men. Her adventures come to a full circle with an unconvincing denouement that closes up a family trauma and makes some vague statement about gender roles in Japan. Ando highlights some great actors, but little character development and 3+ hours make 0.5mm a challenge at best.
Originally published in EL Magazine, November 2014.