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Running On Empty

Directed by Dai Sako
  • Durban International Film Festival 2010
  • Dubai International Film Festival 2009

Dark shadows and mixed emotions are gradually uncovered amid the confusion in which unique characters are running about.  The film jumps across the boundary of comedy and serious drama skillfully, expanding a world full of emptiness and nonsense that nobody has ever seen.


Hideji lives in a suburb of Tokyo adjoining the area with huge plants and industrial complexes. He is unemployed and drifts about aimlessly. His girl friend, Azami who lives with Hideji is discontent with his loose life. On the morning of Hideji’s birthday, an argument between them provoked a burst of anger from Azami, and Asami decides to plan a mock-kidnapping. The idea is to make Hideji believe that Azami was kidnapped by debt collectors, threaten Hideji, and get back all the money Azami had loaned him. Azami goes to her brother Yuichi and asks for his cooperation, and carries out her plan. Tanabe, who feels love for Azami, also joins them. However, Yuichi, who suffers from various inferiority complexes, does not proactively engage in the project, and time passes by without much successful progress. On the other hand, although Hideji worries about Azami, he does not take any concrete action. In such circumstances, things turn un-expectedly.

Director's Profile : Dai Sako

With highest praises from various quarters, such as a plaudit, "true successor of Wenders", obtained from director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, his self-made road movie "Still Paradise" began showing at theaters to get a lot of attention at a bound. Among his film script works, "Vacation" (won a jury's special award in Dubai International Film Festival in 2008) which depicts an inner struggle of prison official who observed an execution of death penalty and "Festival in Abraxas" ('10) are well known.


Written and Directed by Dai Sako
Katsuya Kobayashi / MIHIRO
© 2010 Amumo


Scene Photos