“Mr. Thank You” is a bus driver who ensures the daily route along the mountain roads of Izu Peninsula from Shimoda to Tokyo. But the film above all is a portrait of Japan in the 1930s, revealing the living conditions and problems transported by the passengers of Arigato-san’s bus.
Adapted from a short story of Yasunari Kawabata (future Nobel prize winner for literature), this popular Mr. Thank You –both film and character – with its road movie format, confirms Shimizu’s determination to free the story and emotions from the limits of studio shooting and conventional melodrama codes. Not to be missed! JB