JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles

A Letter to Momo by Okiura Hiroyuki (2012) 

Expired April 1, 2021 6:59 AM
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From the creators of Ghost in the Shell comes a wonderfully expressive and beautifully hand-drawn animated tale that combines bursts of whimsy and kinetic humor with deeply felt emotion and drama. 

 

The last time Momo saw her father they had a fight – and now all she has left to remember him by is an incomplete letter, a blank piece of paper penned with the words “Dear Momo,” but nothing more. Moving with her mother to the remote Japanese island of Shio, Momo soon discovers three yōkai living in her attic, a trio of mischievous spirit creatures that only she can see and who create mayhem in the tiny seaside community as she tries desperately to keep them hidden. But these funny monsters have a serious side and may hold the key to helping Momo discover what her father had been trying to tell her. 

 

A Letter to Momo was seven years in the making, and the handmade animation is superb, from the painstakingly rendered serenity of the island’s Shinto shrines to the climactic finale featuring thousands of squirming, morphing ghosts and spirits that is the best cinematic flight of supernatural fancy in years.


*Film streaming available to residents of North America only.

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Related Virtual Exhibition & Yōkai Webinar 



In the film, Momo discovers an old, woodblock printed book similar to the Hokusai Manga book featured in the NATURE/SUPERNATURE virtual exhibition accessible now. The book contains images of yōkai, like the ones that magically come to life in the film. The role of such yōkai in the lives and lore of the Japanese people will be one of the themes discussed in a yōkai-themed webinar on March 25. 

  • Year
    2012
  • Runtime
    120 minutes
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    Japan
  • Director
    Hiroyuki Okiura