As part of the Colorado Dragon Film Festival, Dear Etranger (2019) is included in this year’s line up. Japanese director, Yukiko Mishima and starring Miu Arai, Rena Tanaka and Tadanobu Asano.
"One thing is for certain: Japanese directors are in the top of the family drama genre, which they have been perfecting since the beginning of the country’s cinema.
The script is based on Kiyoshi Shigematsu’s 1996 novel 'Osanago Warera ni Umare'. Makoto is an assistant manager to a big company and a career man who separates himself from his colleagues by being dedicated to his family, meaning he does not go for drinks with them after work, but instead prefers on returning to his house and spending time with his family. His family situation, however, is quite complicated, since he currently lives with his second wife, Nanae and her two daughters from a previous marriage, Kaoru and Eriko, while his ex-wife, Yuka and his daughter, Saori live with the former’s new husband. When Nanae is pregnant again and Yuka’s husband is diagnosed with a serious illness, the situation becomes even more complicated, with the fact that Makoto is transferred to a warehouse to work adding to his circumstances.
Yukiko Mishima implements the usual tactics of the Japanese family drama, including some flashbacks and relatively slow pace, while Ryo Otsuka’s cinematography focuses on accuracy and realism, although some interesting framing is included, particularly during the violent scenes.
”'Dear Etranger' is a distinct family drama, that uses an 'extreme’ story to talk about a number of social aspects, transcending the ones revolving around the family. Fans of the genre and indie films in general are bound to enjoy it." -AsianMoviePulse Review by Panos Kotzathanasis