Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

Australia 1991
Directed by
Solrun Hoass
95 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars


Aya is a remarkable first feature by Norwegian-born documentary maker, Solrun Hoass. It tells the story of a Japanese war bride (Eri Ishida), whose name gives the film its title, from her kimono-clad arrival in country Victoria in the immediate post-war period to 2 decades later, divorced and with a grown-up son and working as a translator for the Japanese fishing fleet based in Hobart.

Although dealing with the problems that Aya’s faces this is not your typical “issue” film which of can be quite well-meaningly strident. Instead, Hoass, who also wrote and co-produced this, concentrates on her subject’s personal life as she tries to be wife, mother, daughter and daughter-in-law, her script balancing the different aspects of Aya’s life with unforced assuredness. Nicholas Eadie who plays Aya’s husband is a real asset here in his portrayal of a man torn between two worlds, that represented by his wife’s culturally-determined refinement and the White Australian ockerism in which he has been brought up. The part of Chris Haywood who plays an older friend of the couple who grows closer to Aya over time is perhaps too obviously a structural convenience, particularly towards the end as Hoass tries to move the story forward over its lengthy time span but given the nature of the production this is a very impressive achievement.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst