(SIGNIS Japan). The 45th Japan Catholic Film Award, presented every year by SIGNIS Japan, went to Complicity, a feature-length film directed by Kei Chikaura that highlights the social problem of technical trainees from overseas.
The award ceremony was held at the Asakusa Catholic Church in Tokyo on November 20, 2021. After an opening speech by Itaru Tsuchiya, the President of SIGNIS Japan, Fr. Haresaku, advisory priest to SIGNIS Japan, explained the reasons behind their choice:
"Complicity is a film that has the power to save Japan from its solitude. It is a story that goes beyond the wall that separates people to let us become family with others. When criticized for curing the sick on the Sabbath, Jesus said: 'Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?'. In the film, the owner of the soba restaurant hires a foreign trainee who gradually becomes his son and who is now more important to him than the law. Japan's hope can be seen through the screen and their tender complicity. It is encouraging to see a film with a sense of mission to connect people in the era of COVID-19."
About the film
Chen Liang has come from China's Henan Province to work in Japan as a technical trainee but runs away from his place of training and becomes an illegal resident. While lying to his mother back home that he is continuing his training, Liang has been involved in for-hire larceny. In an unexpected turn of events, he takes on another's identity and is taken in by a small soba restaurant in Yamagata, where he begins to work.