“I don’t have any unifying theme”, Ichikawa once said, adding that he simply made the films that he liked and the films that his studios assigned him”
The Rough Guide to Film: An A-Z of Directors and their Movies, Jessica Winter, Penguin, 2007, Pg 243
Based on a true story, the film is a road movie by sea?, which focuses on the journey of an uncertain Japanese man who secretly sails from Osaka to San Francisco across the pacific ocean in a tiny little boat. I think what works about this film is that Ichikawa never embellishes or sentimentalises the journey, stripping away all extraneous elements and constructing a narrative that is convincing and compelling. Supported by a wonderful score and a denouement that is uplifting, this has made me take notice of a film maker that I have criminally overlooked for a long time. I hope the rest of his work is as equally pleasurable as this gem of a movie.