By Phyllis GRANDE


First film - Development 2020

Set in present Japan, a Japanese Filipina exchange student spends her last months searching for her father while cleaning the houses of people who have died.

    • Year of production
    • 2020
    • Genres
    • First film, Drama
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Phyllis GRANDE
    • Writer(s)
    • Phyllis GRANDE
    • Producer(s)
    • Alemberg ANG (vy/ac Productions)
    • Synopsis
    • It’s summer in Tokyo, Japan. Hana, a 21 year old Japanese-Filipina Architecture student from Manila just finished submitting her clearance form. She’s set to go back to the Philippines after being an exchange student for two years. After walking out of the College Secretary’s office, she receives a message: “Kamakura station. Don’t be late.” She hurriedly goes to Kamakura where she joins a group of men wearing white overalls cleaning the house of a man who died alone.

      But Hana’s not in Japan just to study and clean houses of dead people. She wants to see her Japanese father and ask why he left her and her mom ten years ago. It’s been almost two years though, and she still hasn’t found him.

      With less than three months left before she leaves, Hana aimlessly drifts between school and work, between the living and the dead. In school, she learns about the importance of space and home. In work, she is tasked to train a new employee - her classmate - whose father died a lonely death. She explains to him how things work - that summer is a busy season for them because the dead tends to stink, that there’s plenty of reasons why people die alone, and that they don’t have the power to force the living family members to accept the fact their loved ones are dead. In between houses, Hana wanders between those dead people and the memories they left behind, silently hoping and not hoping that she will see her father in one of the houses.

      With only a few weeks before her departure, she goes back to Saga - her birth place - to say one last good bye. The roads take her to her old house, where she meets a tired middle-aged woman with three children - her father’s second family. However, her father is nowhere to be found, apparently turning into a johatsu. Realizing that the father has also left his second family, she leaves the house with the closure she believes she has been waiting for - knowing the reason why he left them in the first place.

      Realizing the fact that there are no permanent connections in the world, and that the reason she’s looking for her father is to really know if she still loves him or not, she decides to move on with her life, hazily drifitng again between work and school. She decides not to go back to Japan ever again. She is still aimless, but she believes she’s fulfilled her goal.

      In the end, she boards the plane back to Manila, not looking back. She continues to live, meandering among the living, and the dying in the Philippines.