Japan Foundation

World Premiere
Cheval Noir

My Broken Mariko

Directed by Yuki TANADA



Yuki Tanada


Kosuke Mukai, Yuki Tanada


Mei Nagano, Masataka Kubota, Nao



Japan 2022 85 mins OV Japanese Subtitles : English
Genre Drama

Tomoyo Shiino is enjoying her lunch hour, listening to the news. When she hears that a woman named Mariko has jumped from the fifth floor, she panics. Could it be her childhood friend? Unfortunately, it is her. Her memories are jumbled and when she learns that the ashes are at the home of Mariko’s father, who beat her throughout her youth and sexually assaulted her during her adolescence, she explodes. Tomoyo rushes in and snatches the urn containing her BFF's remains from her at knifepoint, seizing the moment to berate him with all her might. Caught up in a constant whirlwind of memories, she decides to take the deceased to the beach, as she had always wanted. Tomoyo's introspective journey begins badly. A motorcyclist steals her bag with all her belongings and the countless letters Mariko wrote to her. As a result, her memory becomes less and less selective. Resentment and guilt come to the funeral.

The web manga My Broken Mariko, a striking first work by author Hirako Waka, finally arrives on the screen! With sober direction and gorgeous shots of Japanese coastal beauty bathed in immersive natural light, filmmaker Yuki Tanada (MOURNING RECIPE) merges past and present to perfection to expose Tomoyo's explosive emotions. Mei Nagano (OFFICE ROYALE) delivers a visceral performance that leaves one breathless at her versatility in portraying the many facets of her protagonist as she experiences intense feelings that she cannot control. A mention also to Nao (TANG AND ME, also at Fantasia this year), offering a vaporous and fragile Mariko whose aura permeates this sensitive, touching and sometimes surprisingly funny work. MY BROKEN MARIKO is reminiscent of the cinema of Yuya Ishii (SAWAKO DECIDES), emotionally challenging without plunging the viewer into despair, by means of adorable characters in all their humanity and gentle eccentricity. You will be the first in the world to discover this gem. - Translation: Rupert Bottenberg