Yutaka (Nishijima), aged 24, awakes from a ten-year coma and struggles to come to terms with everything from the collapse of the USSR to his own missed puberty and the fact that his family has fallen apart. Fish farmer Fujimori (Yakusho), an iconoclastic and eccentric family friend, takes him in and watches him try to reunite his parents and sister - and then supports him when he concludes there's more to life than family ties. Sundance alumnus Kurosawa previously looked more like an ambitious genre technician than the commentator on existential dilemmas he proves to be here. To his great credit, he frames the whole thing as black comedy and delivers the wryest of surprise endings.
Licence to Live
Cast and crew