Tudor Cristian Jurgiu’s impressive directorial debut centers on Costache (Victor Rebengiuc), who has been devastated since losing his wife and most of his home in the 2010 flood that ravaged northeast Romania. This understated telling is a sad but sweet story of reunion between a father and son who’ve been scarred in different ways. Now living in an abandoned farmhouse, Costache scavenges through the ruins of his neighborhood after the flood. While his neighbors offer help, he thinks he can take care of himself. Costache has a son named Ticu living somewhere in Asia, but he does not contact him. Eventually, Ticu arrives with a Japanese wife and a seven-year-old son of his own. Costache is resistant and perplexed by his son’s invasion. As the two attempt to overcome their difficult past, Jurgiu directs the action with minimal clutter and simple environments. He explores huge central human themes of family structures in a globalized world, and the intensity of overcoming cultural differences. Most importantly, The Japanese Dog examines how those scattered across the world can find their way back to one another.
Running Time: 85 minutes