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The Crack Magazine

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Plan 75

Director: Chie Hayakawa

Stars: Chieko Baisho, Hayato Isomura, Stefanie Arianne, Yuumi Kawai

This understated and disturbing dystopian sci-fi picture, set five minutes into the future, posits the Japanese government’s drastic response to the burgeoning elderly population. Calling on Japanese traditions of self-sacrifice, the authorities have devised Plan 75, a scheme in which the elderly volunteer to be euthanized at seventy-five in exchange for a fixed sum to be paid on signing up. Michi (the excellent Baisho) is a seventy-eight-year-old woman in fairly good health and with a regular circle of friends, but in a bad situation financially. She has recently lost her job as a cleaner and her apartment is due to be demolished. With a pension option evidently unavailable, and surrounded by the reassuring, blandly soothing ads for Plan 75, she makes an appointment. Meanwhile, a revelation causes a Plan 75 advisor Hiromu (Isomura) to reconsider his position, and a Filipino labourer Maria (Stefanie Arianne) begins working for the scheme, attracted by the generous wages and conditions. The depiction of senior citizen Michi weighing up her ever-dwindling options in drab surroundings is occasionally harrowing, but there is dark banality-of-evil satire in the worryingly plausible presentation of the Plan 75 operation with its upbeat infomercials and blandly municipal offices.

David Willoughby

Follow David on @DWill_Crackfilm

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