It's Only Talk

Director: Ryuichi Hiroki
Screenwriters: Haruhiko Arai, Akiko Itoyama

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


Yuko is a 35-year-old woman—unemployed, single, and being treated for manic depression. Single though she may be, she divides her time among a variety of men: Homma, her university classmate, who suffers from impotence; "K," a guy she met on the web, who is a self-confessed pervert; Noburu, a depressed gang member; and her cousin, Soichi, separated from his wife and child and just dumped by his lover.

In this film set in Tokyo's Kamata Town, a place without an ounce of chic (where Yuko believes she fits perfectly), veteran director Ryuichi Hiroki has fashioned a beautifully poignant story about life and survival, where just continuing to live is the best of outcomes. It is a pleasure to be absorbed by the narrative created from the film's spirit and sense of humor, its lively characters, and its vision of the preciousness of existence.

Based on an award-winning novel, It's Only Talk is powered by the performance of Shinobu Terajima, who is certainly one of the "embodiments" of the new Japanese cinema. Hiroki displays a marvelous capacity for storytelling that combines lightness and dark, people and place in a perfectly balanced composition, further marking him as one of the finest directors working in Asia.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

  • Section: World Cinema Dramatic Competition
  • Film Type: Dramatic Feature
  • Country: Japan
  • Run Time: 100 min.
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