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Charming and unpredictable, Ryūsuke Hamaguchi’s Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is the pleasingly cohesive juxtaposition of three stories with no apparent connection, describing intimate slices of life filtered through the eyes of modern Japanese women. Hamaguchi expertly guides his complex female protagonists through a path of redemption and epiphany, with emotionally authentic exchanges between the characters playing out like poetry on the screen. Meiko (Kotone Furukawa), Nao (Katsuki Mori) and Moka’s (Fusako Urabe) fully-realised identities and narratives all share a common thread, echoing themes of love and loss, desire and opportunity, emotional burden and relief. With coincidence playing a major role in all three stories, they leave viewers to ponder how the right and wrong paths taken in life are sometimes simply shaped by chance.
Winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival 2021, Hamaguchi’s elegant and understated collection of stories captures the nuances of middle-class angst in Japan, creating a film that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Thursday 28th October
Kotone Furukawa, Katsuki Mori