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Short Film Review: Yours (2024) by Sota Fukushi

Yours still
"Standing here, before it, I can be my true self"

Sota Fukushi is a Japanese actor. He rose to prominence portraying Gentaro Kisaragi in “Kamen Rider Fourze”, and has since starred in television series Koinaka (2016) and My Lover's Secret (2017), as well as films Strobe Edge (2015), My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday (2016), “Bleach” (2018), “”, “”, “Laplace's Witch” and others. “” is his directorial debut.

Yours is screening at Short Shorts Film Festival and Asia

The film begins inside an art gallery, where a man and a woman are watching an abstract painting, initially through intense close ups and later on, from further away. An employee dropping some boxes he has been carrying brings them out of their trance, although the woman is nowhere to be found after the break. The next scene takes place inside an apartment where the same young man is looking at a pamphlet of an Employment Support Festival for the Disabled, before the scene changes back to the gallery, where the man is sitting looking at the painting. At that point, a woman in long boots ascends the stairs. She starts talking to him, but he is quite awkward regarding the interaction and then picks his phone, answering a call from someone asking him to pick them up.

It turns out that his younger brother is deaf and unemployed, but also unwilling to look for a job. In a discussion with his boss in a restaurant, he also hints that his mother is not exactly trustworthy. When a third colleague arrives, we learn that his name is Itsuki, and that the art exhibition actually includes one of his own works. It also turns out that he wants to attend art college. Back to the gallery, the same girl actually asks him to go out and talk about his painting, with the fact that the scenes here are not presented in linear fashion becoming apparent. Although they are slowly getting closer, they still feel a wall between themselves. One night under a full moon, they have an in-depth conversation.

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Although it starts in intense cinematic motion, with the change of settings being non-stop, Sota Fukushi soon moves into a dialogue-heavy, stage-play like narrative. The change of scenery continues, with the night shots on the street in particular being quite appealing to the eye, and the back and forth in time adding even more cinematic value to “Yours”. However, the dialogues between the two protagonists are definitely where the focus of the movie lies. In that regard, the antithetical chemistry of the two works quite well, with her being cheerful and emotive and him more closed up, with her actually being the one changing him.

At the same time, the twists that come up during the ending have tremendous impact, in one of the most shocking endings we have lately seen in a short. Consequently, Sota Fukushi's direction and the editing stand out as the movie's best attributes, showcasing exceptional work. That the very ending also makes a comment about how inspiration comes to people and how art is created cements this rather rich contextually short.

and 's acting emerges as excellent, with the way it is her that eventually makes him feel something more significant and try to put it into his art highlighting the latter's performance in the best way.

“Yours” is a great short, one that makes one wish Fukushi had more time in order to present his story and characters more thoroughly, since there is definitely enough her for a full movie. Hopefully, something that we will see in the future.

About the author

Panos Kotzathanasis

Panagiotis (Panos) Kotzathanasis is a film critic and reviewer, specialized in Asian Cinema. He is the owner and administrator of Asian Movie Pulse, one of the biggest portals dealing with Asian cinema. He is a frequent writer in Hancinema, Taste of Cinema, and his texts can be found in a number of other publications including SIRP in Estonia, Film.sk in Slovakia, Asian Dialogue in the UK, Cinefil in Japan and Filmbuff in India.

Since 2019, he cooperates with Thessaloniki Cinematheque in Greece, curating various tributes to Asian cinema. He has participated, with video recordings and text, on a number of Asian movie releases, for Spectrum, Dekanalog and Error 4444. He has taken part as an expert on the Erasmus+ program, “Asian Cinema Education”, on the Asian Cinema Education International Journalism and Film Criticism Course.

Apart from a member of FIPRESCI and the Greek Cinema Critics Association, he is also a member of NETPAC, the Hellenic Film Academy and the Online Film Critics Association.

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