Nobody wants to be alone, especially in a bustling city like Osaka. Come and Go follows several characters that are very solitary, and others that at times intersect with one another. Almost all of them are gaijin – foreigners in Japan. Many are struggling, need money, and can’t sustain a life they might have thought would be easier than in their home countries.
Director-writer-producer Lim Kah Wai has captured the essence of loneliness and alienation in the daily struggles of non-Japanese people visiting or living in Osaka. The ongoing theme is the Art of Screwing Foreigners Over. The abuse toward gaijin is everywhere. Your store’s cash register is short of money? The foreign employee must have pocketed some. Your dirty pervert-husband molests his foreign clerk but she’s the hussy? A murder without suspects needs a culprit, so why not pin it on a foreigner?
In this dismal atmosphere, even a hafu (mixed-Ethnicity Japanese) is treated like half a human and must turn to shady dealings in order to pay his expenses. Some foreigners also try to take advantage of other foreigners instead of banding together. Easy money, sleazy money. Everything is about money! Businesses overwork their foreign staff and tell them they aren’t legally allowed leave to visit an ailing family member back home. This, they do without actual knowledge of the labour laws regarding foreign workers.
The story branches don’t all give concrete conclusions. Instead they seem to offer a path toward other possibilities. Unanswered questions can remain unanswered because in the end, the thread that connects us all isn’t about who to hold accountable. It is a lesson about how people don’t care about each other anymore. We lose ties with one another. We lose the true essence of being human, no matter what land we call home.
Come and Go – 10:50 AM JST, November 6th, 2020 (Please note, screening times are in Japan Standard Time)