A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (リップヴァンウィンクルの花嫁)
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A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (リップヴァンウィンクルの花嫁)
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© RVW Film Partners

Life in all its beauty and despair


Nanami is a timid substitute teacher working in Tokyo. Unable to find her place in life, her only solace comes through her interactions on social media. She decides to tie the knot with a man she has met online, but while planning the wedding guest list, she soon realises how few meaningful relationships she possesses. In desperation, she pays a hefty fee to Amuro, an opportunistic entrepreneur who arranges actors to stand in as her family.

Not long after her wedding, Nanami’s life spirals into a series of misfortunes. With no one to call on, she relies on Amuro. Through Amuro’s introduction, she gets acquainted with a series of characters, including a fiery actress-on-call named Mashiro.

Originally filmed in 6K, A Bride for Rip Van Winkle plays out like a beautiful dream sequence, reflecting life in all its beauty and despair. The cast’s powerful performances and the director Shunji Iwai’s masterful storytelling draw out the complexities of personas, social expectations, and relationships.

The film has been adapted from Iwai’s novel by the same name. The original three-hour Director’s Cut will be screening at the Japanese Film Festival, showing one night only in Sydney and Melbourne.

Year: 2016
Length: 179 mins
Classification rating: Under 15s must be accompanied by an adult
In Japanese with English subtitles.

  • Director
    Shunji Iwai/
  • Producers
    Tomoyuki Miyagawa/ Aki Mizuno/ Muneyuki Kii/
  • Screenplay
    Iwai Shunji/
  • Cast
    Haru Kuroki/ Go Ayano/ Cocco/