Japanese Story (2003) © Gecko Films
Japanese Story (2003) © Gecko Films
Japanese Story (2003) © Gecko Films

ACMI presents

Japanese Story

Sue Brooks | Australia | 2003 | M

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Fri 2 Feb - Sun 11 Feb 2024

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Two unlikely strangers find a connection when they set out to explore the Pilbara, in Sue Brooks' brilliant road movie romance.

A beautifully nuanced, tremendously moving portrait of compassion and respect. It’s not to be missed.

Margaret Pomeranz (The Movie Show, SBS)

Sandy (Toni Collette) lands the unwanted task of chaperoning Hiromitsu (Gotaro Tsunashima) around the Pilbara, with a view to selling his company the unique geology software she has been developing. Hiromitsu meanwhile, mistakes her as his driver and demands they trek to the desert, blissfully unaware of the dangers. 

Against the background of this elemental Australian landscape, these two strangers journey further and further into the West Australian desert, leaving more and more of what they know about each other and themselves behind.

Curator's Note

In terms of Australia's national cinema, if we crudely designate the 90s to the quirky glitter cycle, and the 2010s to true crime, the decade in between is perhaps more difficult to pin down. However, there was a series of mature Australian dramas that perhaps best typify post-millennial Australian cinema. Japanese Story lives here, and so does Lantana (2001), Somersault (2004) and Jindabyne (2006) – a family of films that felt self-assured, emotionally articulate and completely absent of collective cultural cringe which is important because these films represented us, and represented us well, on the international stage.

Japanese Story premiered at the 56th Cannes Film Festival where it screened in the Un Certain Regard section. Upon the film's release in Australia it received many accolades including best film awards from the AFI, Film Critics Circle of Australia, IF Awards and the Australian Writers Guild.

Join us in the cinema as we present the new digital restoration in crisp 4K.

– Reece Goodwin; Curator (Film & TV)

Format: DCP
Language: English & Japanese with English subtitles
Source: Gecko Films
Courtesy: Gecko Films
Runtime: 110 mins

Event duration

110 mins



Contains adult themes, low level sex scene, and low level coarse language.


Full $9
ACMI Member $7

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