Of Love & Law

Director: Hikaru Toda
2017 | Japan, UK, France | 94m
GENRE: Animation | Asian/Pacific Islander | Bisexual | Discrimination | Documentary | Gay | Gender | Human Rights | Lesbian | Transgender
SECTION: Documentary
Expected Guests: Director, Hikaru Toda

Within Japan’s strictly conformist society, openly gay life partners Fumi and Kazu chart bold new paths—both in their lives and with their Osaka law firm. To be a minority of any kind in Japan is to live with an ingrained sense of alienation and judgment. But Fumi and Kazu seek to change such stigmas by taking on a myriad of cases involving marginalized voices. Whether it’s a person protesting the national anthem, a feminist performance artist, or any of their other LGBTQ clients, these two remarkable men use a potent combination of charisma and rigorous legal prowess to strengthen individual rights within a society that prioritizes group harmony.

Fumi and Kazu demand a sense of true belonging and reject repressive expectations to withdraw and fit in. Even though their marriage is not sanctioned by the government, the partners wish to raise a child. By chance, Fumi becomes a legal guardian to his orphaned teen client Kazuma. Anchored by mutual acceptance of one another, Fumi, Kazu, and Kazuma’s easy alliance inspires them to want to expand their family even further.

Filmed with restrained, fly-on-the-wall intimacy, Of Love & Law—a prize winner at both the Tokyo and Hong Kong Film Festivals—continues gifted documentarian Hikaru Toda’s (Love Hotel) observations of a side of Japan seldom discussed or even acknowledged by many of its own citizens. In weaving together Fumi and Kazu’s personal stories with their work on high-stakes legal cases, Toda gives us a fully dimensional and poignantly human portrait of grassroots activism.

— CAROL HARADA

SPONSORED BY
Qreel

CO-PRESENTED BY
OutRight Action International / Japan Film Festival of San FranciscoLambda Legal

  • Language: In Japanese with English subtitles. ASL interpreter present
  • Premiere Status: West Coast