First and foremost we’d like to thank Vanessa Smith, Tony Shaff, Kyoka Shiraiwa, and Jessica Everleth for contributing to our INDIEGOGO campaign! We could not do this without your support.
American Hikikomori is a film about loneliness and self induced isolation. Overwhelming pressures to succeed, feelings of rejection or abandonment, and even a great sense of failure can drive one to loneliness or isolation. In a sense, all three of the major characters are coping with a type of loneliness and isolation in their own way. American Hikikomori is also a film about the dissolution of a family as they each choose to isolate themselves from each other.
In Japan, Isamu Fujihara, our protagonist, could be considered a typical teenager. Not necessarily a super popular student but an “A” student with friends and great potential for a prosperous future. However, once his parents’ marriage falls apart, Isamu’s world is turned upside down. After a bitter divorce, his father is granted custody of Isamu and takes him to the U.S. to finish school. Because of a language barrier, overall social rejection, and growing contempt for his father, Isamu shuts down and secludes himself to his room.
Isamu’s father is a traveling businessman who spent too much time on the road and not enough time looking after his family. A fresh divorcee after twenty years of marriage, his wife abandoned him and his teenage son. Unable to fully accept his failed marriage, he continues to hide behind his work leaving his teenage son, Isamu, displaced in a new country with his elderly mother. Isamu’s grandmother runs the household while his father is away but she pampers Isamu too much. An elderly widow, also in a foreign country, she tries to support Isamu’s father as he tries to further his career and pick up the pieces of his failed marriage.
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