Dir: Takako Miyahira, Canada/Japan, 2010, 105 min.
Honoka, Daniel Pilon, Rosanna Zanbon, Marlane O’Brien. In Japanese and English, with English subtitles.
Winner, Best Film & Best Director, Asian First Film Festival.
One of City Cinema’s Top ten Canadian Films ever.
“Looking for Anne is a sweet small movie about roses and boats, memories, miracles, and Anne of Green Gables. Yes, it’s set on Prince Edward Island. Young Takako Miyahira’s confident debut… follows three weeks in the life of a 17-year-old Japanese girl named Anri… Anri has travelled to P.E.I. as a tribute to her beloved grandmother, who died before she could make the pilgrimage herself. But Anri has little interest in the pull that the fictional Anne has had over generations of Japanese women…. She’s looking for an old Canadian Second World War veteran, who might live near a lighthouse on the island and whom she believes to have been her grandmother’s first love. Anri is not only shy; she’s romantic and secretive. Though her English is halting, and she has never travelled beyond the borders of her own country before, she’s determined to find her soldier herself, on a bike, with only the shakiest sense of direction. Luckily, she’s living under the broad wing of Mari, a long-time resident of Japan who has relocated to a cozy B&B she runs on the island as a safe haven for naive Japanese Green Gable watchers just like Anri. Mari’s a port in storm, but not without turbulent waters of her own… The movie is all about loves – last loves, lost loves, and first loves, too… Looking for Anne resists every temptation to fall into gooey romance and maudlin regret. A taut, unpredictable script, restrained performances, and clean direction in both Japanese and English, enjoined with the natural beauty of a wonderful place, help the film find its modest way to a neat and satisfying conclusion. And that is the viewer’s own reward.” – John Griffin, The Montreal Gazette