Like marriage, a family is bound by a vow: “In sickness and in health. ‘Til death do us part.”
“Her Love Boils Bathwater,” one of the films featured in this year’s Japanese Film Festival, proves that a family can get together even in sickness and death.
Screened at the FDCP Cinematheque Manila last July 7 as part of the Eigasai 2017 lineup, Her Love Boils Bathwater is about a mother who is diagnosed with a terminal illness and have only two months left to live. She decided to make the most out of her last few moments to start anew with her family and live the best life she could ever live.
Despite being a low-budget film, Her Love Boils Bathwater stars some of Japan’s top acting talents like Rie Miyazawa and Joe Odagiri. With the riveting performance delivered by the cast, director Ryota Nakano said that it was extremely overwhelming for him that the likes of Miyazawa and Odagiri accepted their roles after reading his screenplay.
After the screening, Nakano answered several questions from the audience and discussed aspects of the film such as its theme, the story, and why it deserves to be seen by all.
A dying mother’s undying love
After her husband (Joe Odagiri) disappeared and never came back for one year, striving mother Futaba Sachino (Rie Miyazawa) works hard to provide for her shy daughter Azumi (Hana Sugisaki) who always gets bullied at school. Futaba’s life turns around when she discovers that she has Stage 4 Cancer and have only have two months left to live.
The cancer cells have already spread on most of her organs, and treatment is no longer an option. With the little time she has left, she sets a goal to bring back her estranged husband to mend things with her family, restore the family’s shut-down bathhouse business, and help Azumi find her way to independence.
In the process of doing all these, Futaba touched other people’s lives who are all, somehow, yearning for a mother like her. Director Nakano explained that “…the main theme of the movie is ‘mother.’ They all (the characters), in one way or another, lost a mother.”
Her Love Boils Bathwater shows how mothers are an integral part of our lives, and how out of all kinds of love, a mother’s unconditional love never dies. It’s the kind that goes deep within our hearts and keep us warm like boiling bathwater.
“Life and death are always side by side”
Despite the movie centering on a story of an impending death, Nakano explains that the picture he wants to show to the viewers is “living.” He shared that he’s always thought of life and death as two things that couldn’t exist without the other.
“I see it as it exists side by side. There’s death and there’s life. If there’s no death, then there’s no life. ” The film Her Love Boils Bathwater serves as a delicate representation that our death is more meaningful when we get to live our lives the way we have always wanted to.
A movie for all
Being in the indie scene for quite some time, it’s the first time for Ryota Nakano to create a commercial film and it has been way beyond fulfilling for him to see how Filipinos react to his film. According to him, Japanese viewers watch films quietly and just wait until the last second of the film. Filipinos on the other hand, expresses freely what they feel while watching—laughing and crying with the characters of the movie.
To him, movies know no language and cultural difference as long as people can relate to it and feel the emotions it presents. “Movies should not have borders, nationality—it should be available for all.”
Her Love Boils Bathwater is a family drama masterpiece that will surely make anyone emotional, particularly those who have lost their mothers. It’s a relatable story that speaks to families who went through the same trials in life, but have managed to make their relationship stronger despite everything.
Indeed, it’s a movie for all that will warm your heart!
Check out Eigasai PH to know more about the full lineup of movies from the festival and where you can watch them!