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Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Actors: Hannelore Elsner, Elmar Wepper, Floriane Daniel, Felix Eitner, Birgit Minichmayr
Director: Doris Dorrie
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2009     2hr 4min

CHERRY BLOSSOMS is a tender, emotionally intense and profoundly moving story of marital love. Only Trudi knows that her husband Rudi is suffering from a terminal illness. She decides not to tell him and convinces him to vi...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Hannelore Elsner, Elmar Wepper, Floriane Daniel, Felix Eitner, Birgit Minichmayr
Director: Doris Dorrie
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Strand Releasing
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/16/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 4min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, German, Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A Beautiful, Richly Textured Film
Norman E. Babbitt | Portland, Or | 05/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Cherry Blossoms," directed by Doris Dorrie, is quite simply, the most exquisitely beautiful and wise film I have ever experienced. It surprised me, going in directions I had not forseen, with a freshness and fierceness of love that is as provocative as it is deeply moving. You traverse with the main character, a man who has lived a safely routine, dull life and live with him a transformative, spiritual journey that is beyond the usual cliches, so often played in Hollywood movies. It is simultaneously raw and subtle in it's vision of the true wonder of life and the possibility of really opening to the depths of being. I don't want to give away any of the plot and I would emphasize not even reading the back jacket of the DVD package, nor any reviews that give away any of the plot. I, unfortunately, was not so lucky and the spoilers that are written alter one's experience of it. Better not to know anything of the plot. Yet even if one does read the plot beforehand, it is still an amazing, soul touching experience. This film was life altering for me and helped me in my own inner work and feeling about life, itself. "Cherry Blossoms" has been a blessing, and I have deep gratitude toward the director, who has obviously tapped into life's deepest, nurturing wells and underground springs."
A Great Film
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 05/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Cherry Blossoms"

A Great Film

Amos Lassen

"Cherry Blossoms" is a near perfect film. From the moment that images appear on the screen, the audience is hooked. Rudi and Trudi pulls us into their lives immediately and from the moment that Trudi is told by doctors that her husband, Rudi, does not have long to live, we feel as if we are there with her feeling her pain.
We soon learn what kind of man Rudi is and we follow the lives of an older couple who are very much in love. We see how badly they are treated by their children and we learn that this is because they believe that Rudi has suppressed his wife her entire life and did not let her do what she wanted to do. She devoted her life to her husband and children. We see the two in their intimate moments and we realize how much love they share and that Trudi is happy with her husband. The fact that the children think differently is of little importance and in reality is not true.
Trudi convinces her husband to visit their children in Berlin and when they are vacationing on the Baltic Sea, Trudi suddenly dies. Here Rudi realizes that he did not know her very well nor did he take her dreams seriously. This is the focus of the film--death and blaming oneself for not being kind to someone who has just died.
As the story unfolds we see the culture clash in Japan but more important we see Rudi dealing with the death of his wife and his understanding that his life is now very different. The film is sensitive and touching and watching a man dealing with mourning his wife shows the impermanence of memories which can be both tender and funny. The heart of the film is grief and how we are never really prepared for it.
There are stunning images from nature and a lot of symbolism and although the subject matter is quite heavy, it is balanced with family dynamics which are almost farcical and manage to tame the weight of the theme of the film. We watch as love gains momentum and then dies and it is an apotheosis of feeling that is overwhelming. The emotions are beautiful and this is a sublime movie experience. The impermanence of life looms large and the movie was obviously crafted with love.
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Dance of Darkness...and Light
Gerard D. Launay | Berkeley, California | 07/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Andrew Sarris (film critic of the New York Observer) called this the first "great" film of 2009 and it is hard to disagree. Although it is a German film, it is infused with an Asian, particularly a Japanese point of view. Central to the film is the Butoh dance which was developed as an abstract form of modern dance. It meant originally - dance of darkness. When first performed, the dance was a subversive art form but today it resembles expressionist modern dance - possibly influenced by the traditional Noh technique.

In content and in form, the film is a poem of love. When an elderly wife realizes her husband has only a short time to live, she keeps the information a secret but tries to get him involved with visiting the children (after a long absence) and beginning an adventure, completing the things he wanted to do most but left undone. It turns out that the wife dies first, unexpectedly. This momentous event causes the husband to re-examine his life and his relationships and to travel to Japan which his wife always wanted to do. And so he walks in his love's path and in doing so eventually become totally united with her soul.

The film is influenced by the well recognized Japanese film master Ozu - particularly his "Tokyo Story" - but I would say it ends on a more sublime note. In every way, the symbol of the "cherry blossom" which blooms for just a short period of time but is exceptionally beautiful when it does, is the hidden meaning of the story."
Subtle Beauty of An Exquisite Film
prisrob | New EnglandUSA | 08/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"
'Cherry Blossoms' is a quiet film that sneaks into your heart and is so unpredictable in interesting ways. This film shows us the cultural differences between Japanese and German lives. This is a story of Trudi and Rudi, a Bavarian couple, and their grown children who have grown apart and find little time for their parents.

Trudi is called into their physician's office to be told that Rudi has a terminal disease, and she is asked if Rudi should be told. She does not respond, but we know her decision is 'no'. She is advised he has some time and a trip of their lifetime might be a good choice. Right away my hackles rose, how unethical- but as the film moves on I forgot this ethical lapse and fell into the story. Trudi talks hard working Rudi into visiting their two children in Berlin. Even though she would much prefer to visit their son, Karl in Japan. Trudi has had a life long yearning to study the Japanese dance, Butoh and to visit Mt. Fuji. But,l she has devoted her life to her husband and her children. Karl, it seems was her favorite and the other children lived with this knowledge. Off they go to Berlin instead, to find their children immersed in their own lives with no time for them. It is the lover of one of the children who makes the most time for them, and begins to understand Trudi as a woman not only a mother. Complications arise and soon Rudi finds that the woman he called his wife was also someone who had other interests. He visits Karl in Tokyo and once again it is someone outside the family who spends time with Rudi and understands the grief that has enveloped him. A young girl develops a friendship with him, and it is she who has studied Butho dancing and shows Rudi his expressive, artistic side.

The German filmmaker, Doris Dörrie has made a marvelous emotionally full film about this German couple. Trudi played by Hannelore Eisner and Rudi, played by Elmer Wrapper, grow on us. We can feel their bonds and the family issues; their children with busy lives without time for them. The title of the film, Cherry Blossoms, takes it name from the Tokyo blooms, that bloom for just a short time. We find that Rudi transforms and that the life he led with his wife, Trudi was indeed a special one, and in the end it is those we love that make our lives what they are.

A lovely film about love, life and death. The Japanese dance Butoh brings a special expression into this film that will resonate for a long time. The film is a travelogue in part and we get to visit the exquisite countries of Germany and Japan.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 08-02-09

Where Do We Go From Here?

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