This homage to the great Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu, and especially to his masterpiece Tokyo Story, by the talented German director, comes close to achieving the truth and beauty of that standard.
Doris Dorrie is deliberately trying to make a Japanese film but has to also encompass the family complications at the German parts of the film. She succeeds in involving us in the parents’ alienation from their grown up children, like Ozu, but falls short in the matching of the acceptance of life’s real lessons. She makes up for that with superb lyrical beauty in the climax of the Japanese portion which only one of the couple enjoys.
One of the best films about growing old in marriage which will continue to be shown at film clubs. The symbolic cherry blossoms, expressing the fleeting nature of our lives are the key.