Nippon Connection 2022: Top 4 films

Nippon Connection Film Festival is back! From the 24th ‘till the 29th of May, Frankfurt am Main will once again host “the biggest platform of Japanese cinema worldwide.” After two digital editions, it’s great to see films on the big screen again. Furthermore, we can finally connect with other film aficionados in person! In twelve venues throughout Frankfurt, you can enjoy a wide selection of films, workshops, lectures, performances, and culinary experiences. What better way to ring in the summer?

Still from Let Me Hear It Barefoot, 2021.

For its 22nd edition, Nippon has chosen to focus on coming-of-age stories. There are a lot of gems to choose from, but here are a few of our favorites:

Small, Slow But Steady

dir. by Shô Miyake

In Small, Slow But Steady , Nippon Connections’ opening film, we follow the hearing-impaired Keiko’s journey as a young, professional boxer. Her long-time trainer, Mr. Sasaki, falls ill, and Keiko’s whole life turns upside down. With the focus on human connection rather than sports events, Small, Slow But Steady is a masterful character study. 

Let Me Hear It Barefoot

dir. by Kudo Riho

Let Me Hear It Barefoot tells the story of Naomi and Maki. Maki lives with Midori, a blind woman who frequently tells about places she’s never been to. When she develops health problems, Maki and Naomi decide to fake a round-the-world trip by sending her sound tapes. While making these tapes, Maki and Naomi grow closer. Simultaneously, they worry about the consequences. Let Me Hear It Barefoot is part of the Stories of Youth – Coming of Age in Japan section and an imaginative take on young, queer love.


dir. by Allegra Pacheco

When Costa Rican artist and photographer Allegra Pacheco travels to Japan for a few months, the first thing she notices is men in suits sleeping on the streets at night. She wants to find out what this phenomenon is all about. In Salaryman, she explores the peculiarities of the Japanese working world and its motto of ‘’ganbaru’’; ‘’to preserve.’’

Angry Son

dir. by Kasho Iizuka

Still from Angry Son, 2022.

Jungo is the embodiment of an angry teenager; as a gay ‘’Jappino’’ – half Filipino, half Japanese- he experiences discrimination on a daily basis. He also has a strained relationship with his mother, who immigrated from the Philippines. When she introduces him to her shady fiancé, Jungo sets out to find his biological father. Angry Son brilliantly combines a coming-of-age narrative with social commentaries.

If you want to see the entire Nippon Connection program, make sure to visit their website. All (edited) synopses and images were taken from the website.

Since Nippon Connection is one of our trusted partners, we are very excited about Nippon’s 22nd edition. Nippon Connection has been using Fiona Film festival management software to make sure to manage their work better, organize faster and improve their events. Does that get you excited?

About The Author

Laura Schenkels
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