Cherry Blossoms & Demons
Kirschblüten & Dämonen
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
This sequel to Cherry Blossoms, an audience favourite at VIFF 08, is another triumph for writer-director Dorris Dörrie. In the earlier film, she portrayed the passing of Rudi and Trudi, a loving Bavarian couple. With this latest work, the main focus is on the their grown son Karl (Golo Euler), who’s struggling with alcoholism and suppressed grief. One night, he sees a black, blurry ghost and is struck with terror; not long after, he gets a visit from Yu (Aya Irizuki), the charming dancer who was Rudi’s final companion. Soon, they’re back at the old family home; there, Karl tries to face down his demons at last.
Compassionate, whimsical, and full of inventive symbolism, this is a family movie par excellence; though Euler is the star, there’s a plethora of sharp character sketches as Karl’s extended clan converges on the homestead. Featuring performances by two great actresses, Hannelore Elsner and Kiki Kirin, both no longer alive, the film resolves itself with a powerful final act takes us back to Yu’s home in Japan…