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Filmmaker Letter

Filmmaker Letter

After the Storm

by writer/director Hirokazu Kore-eda

“Did my father live his life as he wanted?” That question came across my mind. After WWII, my father was detained by the Soviet military and worked under forced labor for three years in Siberia. There is no doubt that this experience had cast a shadow over him for the rest of his life. “His life didn’t work out like he wanted because of the times,” I once said to my mother. She, on the other hand, nonchalantly snapped by saying, “he blamed all his weakness on the times we lived in.”

“Not everyone can become who they wanted to be”—I wrote these words on the first page of the script. What I saw in this line was definitely my father.

In the final year of my bachelor’s degree, I told my parents that I wanted to work in TV production. Though my mother strongly opposed it, my father was the only person in the family who supported my plan, saying that I should do what I wanted since I could only live once. Years later, my mother—who had once disapproved of my profession—became a big fan of my films, and she gave out VHS tapes of my films to all the neighbors. Contrary to her, my father did not give me any comments about my work, but he brought articles with my portrait in the newspapers to the massage clinic where he used to go and he seemed happy to see them hung on the wall. I heard of this only after he died.

Love of a mother is always present, and it can be sometimes annoying, but a father’s love might come around a little bit late. As my father could not become what he wanted to be, I could not become a son I wanted to be either. After the Storm took shape from such emotion. It seems that a son’s love for his father also always comes late like this.

I’m really happy to hear that After the Storm will be screened at Landmark Theatres. I hope you enjoy the film.