Jenifa (2004) - full transcript

Jennifer is a European girl who speaks Japanese a little. She arrives to the funeral in temple in Japanese countryside and meets a boy there. The boy is a juvenile delinquent and works his punishment in temple. Jennifer likes this silent boy and she wants to help him overcome estrangement from the people. Also she helps daughter of the temple's father superior reconcile her parents.

Once upon a time...
in the not so distant past...

A boy chased a butterfly
deep into a forest...

The butterfly soon disappeared.

So the boy played hide-and-seek
with the birds.

Before long, it was dark.

The boy grew frightened.

Sure enough, a black witch
appeared before him.

Grinning, the witch immediately
plucked the boy up...

and turned him into a stone.

The boy-stone grew devastated
by his sad fate.

And he was soon so filled with tears...

that the stone sloshed when it rolled.

One day, a beautiful fairy appeared
and spoke to the stone.

"To return to your true self,
you must be kissed by someone."

Then will you return to being a boy.

But before that joyous day arrives,

you will suffer a great sadness.

"But you will not regret it."

Spring arrived and daffodils bloomed.

Then Summer, a child's favorite season.

And the falling leaves of Autumn.

In Winter, the stone waited for
Spring under a blanket of snow.

Many years passed in this way.

And the stone grew moss.

"No one will ever notice me,"
the boy-stone sobbed.

And then something happened.

A young girl appeared,
standing before him.

The day had began very hot.

As I left the temple,
I gazed up at the Sun...

and took a deep breath.

I could smell the soil, moist and
Dense after a rainfall.

It was soothing to a spirit long
hidden from the world.

She arrived during a funeral
For the temple's resident priest.

It was afternoon.

I was cleaning up after the funeral.

In her pale pink dress,
she walked up a hill...

striking a beautiful contrast
against the forest greenery.

Wait! Let me see you off.

I'm sorry. I got detained.

Are you okay? Are you in safely?

From that day...
my life changed forever.

Until then, I'd lived like a clam...

closed and wary of people.

I had abandoned all hope.

But each encounter with
her softened me.

And before I knew it,
I was in love.

It was a day when all the
cicadas grew silent.

And only I noticed it.

It was a trivial moment, perhaps...

But one I remember clearly.

For it would signal the start
of an unforgettable Summer.

Boy, that was as extravagant
a funeral I've ever seen!

A real who's who of the priesthood.

Imagine the preparation.

I hear it was all done in a month.

Our new master sure is a mess, though.

Well then, goodbye.

He's a nervous wreck.

We're ones to talk.

Whoever marries his daughter
inherits the same fate.

The Missus sure looked good
in black, don't you think?

The scent of camellia wafting
from her mourning dress.

Get a grip.


Iku yo?


Oops, sorry.

Our new resident priest!

Get over here!

Your time has finally come, eh?

Should we be this festive so soon
after our master's passing?

Why not? It's your temple now.

I'm just carrying his torch.

This is a business.

You're the new boss.

Let's drink to success.

What's wrong?


Drink up.

You kept boasting you'd
live to a hundred, father.

This is so typical of you...

always full of surprises...

like forcing me to marry...

or look after that boy.

Hopeless cases only.

Grandpa's planner

Today's date.



She speaks Japanese.


Who, me?

Come on, let me see.

Her name's Jennifer.

Hello, Jennifer.


No, please don't...

The priest's death saddened Jennifer
but she found a new friend in Iku yo.

Seems a nice girl.

While the young priests trained,
I worked in the fields alone.

A temple patron had lent me some land.

He said I could grow what I wanted.

I imagined myself harvesting corn
under the Summer sun...

I grew tomatoes and flowers
with the leftover space.

The corn grew quickly...
20 centimeters a week.

Watching it grow allowed me
to forget my past.

This was time completely unto myself.

How long will she be here?

She seems pretty content.

She helps out a lot, doesn't she?

And eats a lot, too.

So... why is she here?

Because of your father

It's your temple now.

I'm honoring his wishes

You have enough to worry about.

It's not like she's here on vacation.

Father loved to act philanthropic.

Favor the Needy

Jennifer and I are going out.

Huh? Okay.

Get some eggs and cabbage.

I didn't mean for errands.

What's my supposed salary this month?

Don't get cute, all right?

How moral is it to employ one's
daughter for tax purposes?

Everybody does it. Where's your
loyalty to the temple?

Beats me. I was born into this.

Forget it.

Hey... wait!

Good afternoon.

That was great!

And it cost nothing.

Oh, dress up.

I used to do it as a kid
with my mom's clothes.

Come! Hurry!

I'm sorry about before.

Hey, isn't this mine?
Where'd you find it?

The closet.

What are you doing?
You cut off the sleeves!

I'm restyling.

That's not what I meant!
Why didn't you ask me?

Who said you could cut up my clothes?

They'll look better, I swear.

Unbelievable. This is so
typical of you...

You could've at least asked.

You can't fly with one wing.

Like someone in desperate search
of their lost wing...

I too searched desperately
for something.

If I could only find it...

I might rediscover a part of me
that I'd lost.

And now for our main event!

Billy Tokimtasu vs Cult Mikawa
in a dream match up!

Yellow Monkey! Come on!

Billy attacks from the ropes
with a "crab pincer"!

He's now got Cult in
an "Indian deathstroke"!

He's playing to the crowd, folks!

Cult's in trouble as he endures
a barrage of moves.

Give up?


Cult's in pain!

With that kick to the side,
Cult's got nothing left!

He's totally overmatched!

You give up?


Now for my new move!

The "Sotoba Crystal"!

The "Sotoba Crystal"!
Give up?

Thanks again.

It's my pleasure.

What'd you think of my new move?

It was great. Very smooth.

You think? I spent 3 months getting
it like that.

It shows.


You're welcome.

Would you mind keeping mum
about this?


You used to be so wonderful.

You're someone else now.


That's the dress.



Mom, you took that polka dot
dress, didn't you?

Oh, I guess so.

Hands off!

I'm sorry.

"Hands off" and "I'm sorry".

The first words we spoke to each other.

Thank you for lending him a field.

It'll be good for him.

Yes, but it's hard work for
an amateur, I'm afraid.

It could have the reverse effect.

I highly doubt that.

Well, your supervision is a relief.

My supervision?

Well, he's handling a lot of sharp
farm tools, isn't he?

Oh, he would never...

I'm perfectly fine with it.

But others are worried...
the head patron for one.

The head patron?

If something untoward should
happen in that field...

the field owner is responsible.

The patrons have nothing to
worry about, I assure you.

Like I said, I'm fine but...

a person like "Boy A"
shouldn't be left alone.

Who's "Boy A"?

"Boy A"? Well, it means...


No. It's a nickname.

A nickname, right.

"Boy A"?

Hi, "Boy A."

I put the butterfly wing in a book...

so that I could preserve its beauty.

I'm almost finished remaking that dress.

Did you hear me?

What is it?

Something wrong?

"Boy A".

So you heard.

That's his nickname?

I wouldn't call it that.

More like a codename.

He was in a reform school.

He was in... how do you say
"reform school?"

A "bad boy house."

For criminals under 20.

Under 20... Police catch...
Go bad boy house. Understand?


"Boy A" is fine.

What is it?

It's sad not hearing it, isn't it?

What do you know?

I killed my father.

It was raining...

He was drunk.

He beat my mom. He beat me.

I had to end it.

I strangled him.

I've never known my parents.

The orphanage named me.

It's a typical name.
But I like it.

With a name, people will call you.

It's Takashi.



I hadn't heard my name called
since the reformatory.

It was always: "Him",
"That guy" or "Boy A."

I had no name.

And I didn't care.

That is, until Jennifer said it.

I felt glad.

Here you are.

Okay so... the old man that just died
is my mom's dad.

Since only a man can inherit the temple,
mom got married.

Temple boss... no woman, okay?

No women, really?

So here's the problem.

My parents didn't have a son.

No boy... just me.

Which means I have to marry a priest.

You know.

Oh, a priest.

Easy, okay?

Hey, watch it.

Pretty sad, isn't it?

So I do what I want till then.

Little brother.

That would do it.

Make a brother? Not a chance
with those two.

I was born and that was it.

Nope. Mom wears hag rags now.

Hag rags.

You have some, too?

This one's mine.

No, that's not it.

Take it.

Would you wear this for me?



Say Kiyoko. You're looking
especially pretty today.

Whose fault is that?

Last night was great.

Stop it.



Can I pull my bed to yours
again tonight?

Why not just use one?


Is this sake?
We can't.

Yes, we can.

Don't worry.

Accomplished. Cheers!


It's cider.

There was some love after all.

I don't understand.

Love was there.

Now it's your turn.


Don't be shy.


When the girl picked up the stone,
she could hear water inside...

the tears of the boy who had
become a stone.

The young girl came to play
with the stone every day.

Gradually, the stone grew fond of her.

All the girl had to do was kiss the
stone, and the spell would be lifted.

But the stone was enjoying himself
so much that he forgot.

Then one day, it happened.

The girl picked up the stone
and kissed it.

The stone remembered the spell
and began to rejoice.

But the thought of parting suddenly
crossed his mind.

And he heard the voice of the white
fairy saying...

"You felt regret, didn't you?"

Both the girl and the stone vanished...

leaving only a puddle of water.

The end.

Did you make that up?

It's a movie I saw once.

One you never forgot?

One I recently remembered.

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.

What's this?


No good.

It's sweet.

It's sweet.

It shouldn't have been.

Because you grew it.

I'd always been a failure.

She told me otherwise.

My gratitude was unbearable.

My chest burned with a sweet acidity.

I had to embrace her.

Then came a brief moment I can't explain.

All I know is...

Jennifer had disappeared.

Guess what I just saw!

"Corn head" and redhead.

Check out their expressions later.

Their faces will say it all.

I thought so.

Love under one roof. I'm jealous.

You're joking.

You're joking, right?

I wish I were.

You're lying to me.

I disappear.

How can that be?!

If I embrace her, she vanishes.

We both realized it.

But I didn't want to accept it.


Sounds of Summer.

Sad sounds.

You hear them, too?

Sirens at sunset...

A fog horn...

Summer rain...

A lone swing...

So sad.

We stood there listing sounds
from childhood summers.

Happy memories for most. But from
foster homes and reformatories...

they evoked only sadness.

It's become a dangerous world.

It certainly has. A once peaceful
town gripped by terror...

Our reporter's there now.

Here is where it happened.

A witness says a man suddenly
assaulted Mr. Aizawa...

raising a hoe in his right hand...

and lowering it on his head.

The blood stains are still
shockingly evident.

Mr. Aizawa is reported in
critical condition...

and under intensive care.

The police came for me whenever
Something happened...

despite my innocence.

I suppose it's the price I pay.

I just wished Jennifer didn't
have to see me like this.

This'll hurt.

The temple?

No, Takashi.

What did you wish for?

I'm not telling.

Come on.

No way. These talismans really work.

A talisman?

What're you wishing for?


It's done.

It is?

What'd you think?

You'll look great in it.

Maybe so. But I made it for you.



This, too.

Thank you.
Hag rags?

This too.






I've been wanting to ask something.

I know we're together because
of my father.

But do you have any regrets?

None whatsoever.

Stay away!



I know why you and I met.

I'm the girl in your story.

Taking the stone in her hand,
she could hear water inside.

The tears of the boy who had
become a stone.

The girl lifted the stone...

and kissed it.

The girl and stone vanished...

leaving only a puddle of water.

They vanish together.

Love means no regrets.

That's what Jennifer was saying.

With a kiss, we'd both disappear.

No regrets.

We were hoping for a miracle.


Don't leave me alone!

Two years later, I left the temple...

riding the bus that had brought
Jennifer to me.

I was now 20.

All those summer sounds...

which had previously rung
so sad and hollow...

had grown pleasant...
and nostalgic.

Like a bright crescent moon...

hiding it's true nature...

there is rain that's never seen...

butterflies that fly unnoticed...

and a person standing out of view.

That person...

is Jennifer.