BEST ENTRY - 2003 Tokyo Anime Awards
GRAND PRIZE - Japan Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival
BEST ANIMATION FILM/FANTASIA GROUND-BREAKER - 2001 Fantasia Film Festival
Two documentary filmmakers are granted the opportunity to conduct a career spanning interview with the legendary actress Chiyoko Fujiwara. Loosely based on Setsuko Hara, Fujiwara was a great star of the golden age of Japanese film but hasn’t made a public appearance in the decades following her early retirement. Director Genya Tachibana starts the interview by presenting her a key believed to have belonged to Fujiwara. This ignites a trail of memories that everyone soon gets lost in. It’s not long before Genya and his cameraman start to appear in Chiyoko’s memories providing commentary, aiming their digital cameras, and eventually interacting with the scenes. Chiyoko’s career spans the war, its aftermath, and the golden age of the Japanese studio system. A wonderfully realized tale of regret and lifelong pursuits, every scene seamlessly blending fantasy and reality, disparate memories, and the intersection of life on and off the screen. Millennium Actress is the late Satoshi Kon’s love letter to the magic of the movies (his other being Paprika), a world where those who long for something greater seem to coalesce.
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