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37 Stories About Leaving Home

Shelly Silver

1996 00:51:40 Japan, United StatesEnglishColorStereo4:3Video


37 Stories About Leaving Home provides a rare and personal view into the lives of Japanese women. This beautifully constructed and complex video weaves stories told by a group of Japanese grandmothers, mothers and daughters, ranging in age from 15 to 83. The stories recount each woman’s personal journey from child to adulthood—their experiences of leaving home. It points to the enormous societal changes that have occurred in Japan over the last few generations, showing how these women are both influencing and coping with these changes in their own different, individual and creative ways.

"Subtle and insightful... highlighting the competing demands of tradition and personal freedom. Silver presents a remarkable portrait of a culture about to experience seismic social change."

—Steven Bode, Film and Video Umbrella, London

"A beautiful film."

—Margarethe von Trotta

"A complex weaving of stories that moves from early childhood to old age make up this intimate documentary about a group of mothers, daughters, and grandmothers living in the Tokyo area."

—Shelly Silver

Quoting from the established genres of experimental, documentary, and fiction film and television, Shelly Silver’s work is funny, poetic and formally beautiful, seducing the viewer into pondering such difficult issues as the cracks in our most common assumptions, the impossibility of a shared language, and the ambivalent and yet overwhelming need to belong—to a family, a nation, a gender, an ideology. Exploring the psychology of public and private space, the ambivalence inherent in familial and societal relations and the seduction and repulsion of voyeurism, Silver’s work elicits equal amounts of pleasure and discomfort.