84 year-old director and scriptwriter Yoichi Higashi has had a storied career, through which he has addressed oppressed peoples of Japan (like the burakamin, the former lowest caste) or issues of abuse in the country. Sadly the talented and accomplished auteur is little known out of his homeland despite his 2004 effort The Crying Wind (Fuon) being shown at the World Film Festival in Montreal. The current piece is set in modern-day Tokyo and involves Sayoko (Takako Tokiwa), an ordinary middle-aged housewife with a sweet husband (Masanobu Katsumura) and a loving daughter (Mikoto Kimura). One day Sayoko goes to a local beauty parlor to have her hair done and she’s enthralled at the sensitive handling of Kaito (Sosuke Ikematsu). Sayoko quickly becomes obsessed and starts repeatedly emailing the handsome male stylist. Kaito turns to his boss and girlfriend (Aimi Satsukawa) but they are unable to offer help. When Sayoko decides to go to Kaito’s home things could hit a crisis point. The work, based on the novel of the same name by Areno Inoue, constantly defies expectations and offers an insightful portrayal of the empty spaces in contemporary life.

(Japanese title: Dareka no Mokkin; 112 min.)