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Sawako Decides Review

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Political and social satire in which a young girl returns to her family home of Tokyo in order to take over her father's factory, only to confront a rigid and skeptical workforce.

★★★★★

Remaining stoic in the face of social, industrial and emotional humiliation, Hikari Mitsushima makes a splendidly unconventional heroine as she returns to the sticks from an unfulfilling sojourn in Tokyo to take over her father’s ailing business. Forced to deal with a sceptical workforce, treacherous boyfriend Masashi Endô and his daughter, Mitsushima begins her transformation by radically altering the lyrics of the factory song. Alongside such hilarious set-pieces, Yuya Ishii satirises the politics of class, gender and age in this Japanese variation on a deadpan Kaurismäki comedy of inconsequence that is slyly amusing and sobering in its assumption that folks are best off settling for what they have because, invariably, they deserve nothing better.

Witty, subtle and amusing satire on Japanese culture.