For many people this will be an emotional movie. I was one of them. It is a story of duty taking precedence over family. Unfortunately I know the situation intimately due to conflicts between military service and family. Like the station master I chose duty at the expense of family. The story of what his daughter would have been like is told over several episodes. First as a grade schooler, then a teenager and finally as a young adult. I found myself thinking the same thing - how would my child have developed. It was profoundly moving. You also see the respect that others had for the station master. It came from young railway men and fellow towns people old alike. The concluding scenes were as moving as any of the others in the film. For train buffs, the steam engines are excellent and even the 1 car diesels are good. In my part of Japan the diesels are quite common. Hokkaido is a place where towns are dying and railways are disappearing as the movie alludes to. I am writing this in a hotel lobby in Sapporo, Hokkaido, in weather similar to the movie. It has an added touch of reality. I recommend this film to all who have an interest in Japan and life in the far north.
A solitary middle-aged station manager is haunted by troubling memories of his past when he learns the line his station is on will be decommissioned for lack of profitability. He is visited...
February 19, 2020