cherry-blossoms-kirschbluten-hanami-oct-1stThe sweet and sour story of a middle-aged Bavarian couple whose family have flown the nest. After Trudi learns of husband Rudi’s terminal illness, she decides not to tell him, and instead insists they visit their children in Berlin. The latter are less than delighted and have little time to spare, but it is revealed that Trudi has a love of Japanese culture and theatre. When she suddenly dies, the bereft Rudi departs to visit his son in Japan with the cherry blossom in full bloom, on a voyage to discover the aspirations and thwarted dreams that Trudi had kept secret. (Cert 15)
Dir: Doris Dörrie 122 mins Germany/Japan 2008

Programme Notes


Germany/Japan 2008 122 minutes (Cert 15)

ABCD Film Society has pleasure in exclusively bringing to you this excellent film from German director Doris Dörrie. To date Cherry Blossoms has not been shown in any of the Oxford independent cinemas.

“Grief is the subject of Cherry Blossoms, a German drama with Japanese sensibility, constantly overshadowed by death. Writer-director Doris Dörrie invests this tender, tearful tale with delicate optimism and a sense that every moment is worth grabbing, even if – like the petals of the title – those moments are forever floating out of reach.” Jon Fortgang, Film 4 review.

Rudi and Trudi Angermeier (Elmar Wepper, Hannelore Elsner) are a middle aged couple who live an ordered and conventional life in Bavaria. Their three adult children live in Berlin and Japan. When Trudi is told of Rudi’s terminal illness, she takes the decision not to tell him, and instead organises an overdue visit to Berlin. In contrast to their own lives their son and daughter have all consuming and unconventional work and family lives, and their parents’ visit is considered an inconvenience. During a visit to a Japanese theatrical performance we discover Trudi’s passion for classical dance. Then suddenly, Trudi dies, and Rudi begins to realise that his loyal wife had forgone many aspirations during their long marriage. Rudi departs to visit their son in Japan which Trudi had never been able to do. In this deeply bereaved state he is befriended by a homeless Japanese girl Yu (Ava Irizuki) and they meet daily in the park among the spring cherry blossom, as their friendship blossoms.

Rudi Angermeier – Elmar Wepper
Trudi Angermeier – Hannelore Elsner
Yu – Ava Irizuki
Franzi – Nadia Uhi
Karolin Angermeier – Birgit Minichmayr
Director – Doris Dörrie
Screenplay – Doris Dörrie
Cinematography – Hanno Lentz
Original Music – Claus Bantzer
Producers – Molly von Fürstenberg, Harald Kügler


“I cried all the way through this film!”

“Beautiful and moving”

“Very good – very moving”

“A very beautiful, poetic and gentle film”

“Beautifully observed”

“Beautiful photography”

“Wonderful start to the season!”

“Amazing, gripping, beautiful, incredible but totally convincing – how can that be? What a start to the season!”

“A beautiful film in every way – fantastic filming [with] lovely images. wonderful photography. Very challenging!”

“A beautiful love story with beautiful scenery and music.”

“Very selfish children!”

“Beautifully filmed and constructed – maybe a little too perfectly. Very romantic, no hard edges.”

“Although the length was demanding, the film was full of charm with characters that were worth seeking out.”

“It came off [but] only just. The widower’s behaviour was beyond even what one might imagine from a grief-stricken Bavarian clerk but was just
credible and then very moving.”

“A beautiful film but what a contrast [between] the good and bad sides of life in Japan.”

“Beautiful photography but too sugary [and] sentimental in my opinion.”

“A bit silly towards the end”

“Not Lost in Translation

“OK film. Nice depiction of grief but, as a film, a bit boring.”

“Sequences in Japan tediously elongated.”

“At least twice as long as it needed to be and much less interesting than it thought it was. And [as for] the music …”

“I would write a comment if I had time but I’m too busy!”


A:23, B:14, C:4, D:0, E:0 to give 87%