Sand Clock (2008) - full transcript

Following her parents' divorce Ann and her mother move to her maternal grandmother's house in Shimane Prefecture. Adding to the stress is how they are not integrating well at their new home. Ann's mother commits suicide. The consolation for Ann is school-mate Daigo who is loving and helpful, but that is soon to be taken away due to the new distance between them. They grow older and drift apart, but there is still love there when they do reunite.

There is a landscape I can't forget.

All that happened there
made me who I am today.

A collection of singular moments
serving as my life's timeline.

Each moment
like individual grains in a sand clock.

The first time I saw the
giant sand clock, I was 14.

My mum and I had returned
to her hometown...

After her divorce from dad.

Now, 12 years later...

I find myself
standing before it once again...

With "him."


That's an hourglass?

The world's largest.

How much time does it mark?

A whole year.

A year is a lot of sand.


Would you like your own?

Sure. I'll take this one.


The lower half is the past.

The middle is the present.

And the top is the future.

The past just became the future.
Right, mum?

I told you
he was a good-for-nothing.

His business failed, he's in debt
and now he's left you.

Quite frankly,
I can't afford to feed the two of you.

Are you listening, Miwako?

You have to get over this
and move on.

You must be stronger.

Wow, Grandma's more intense
than I remember her.

Is there a convenience store here?

You're Misayo's granddaughter, right?

Oh, yes.

I heard you and your mom
were back after a long time.

You've sure grown up.

Ahh... I'm sorry to hear
about your folks.


Take care, eh?

Stop staring.


Thanks for coming.


Liquor, huh?

That's Miwako's girl.

Her father left them with big debts.

Poor thing.

No, I'm not.

You guys broke?

I can give you work.

No, thanks.

Mind your own business.

You need to work to live.

My mum did work.

From morning till night.

Here, hold onto this.

Follow me.


This way.

What's going on?

She's helping me.

Good for you.
You should help your mother.

No, I...

You'll get paid quickly here.

It's a good job.

Come on.

The firewood has to be stacked here.

By whom?

What's your name?

Ann Minase.

By you, Ann.

And you are?

Daigo Kitamura.

You the new help?

Hardly. I was forced into this.

By Daigo?

You a friend of Daigo's?

Are you new in town?

Tell me... what's your name?

Ann Minase.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm busy.

Yoo-hoo, big brother!
This is Ann. She's new here!

That's my brother, Fuji.

I'm Shiika.

I'll hold that for you.

What, again Shiika?

Get back to your "flower class".

I want to help.

Not in a kimono, you don't.

We're here.


I'll pick you up at 10 tomorrow.


You mean there's more firewood?

Four truckloads worth.

Good luck.

Over here.

Here, Daigo.

You two look chummy.

I don't call this "chummy."
Here... here... here.

Oh, hello.

Want to help, Fuji?


So you'll come if Ann asks you, huh?

Want some ohagi rice cake?

Really? I'd love some!

Great, you eat while we work.

I'm swamped too, you know.

I've no reason to be playing
around here, you know.

Stop trying to use a Tokyo dialect.

You're enough of a snob already.

It's this way.

I'm starving.

Come on, Daigo.

I haven't had ohagi in years.

We make it.


Yours are way too sweet.

Then don't eat any.

I'll eat 20, then!

Well, that figures.



Come quick!

It's your mother!


Has she exhibited
any erratic behavior?

Like going from depression
to sudden anger or tears?

Do me a favor, Ann.

Try not to tell your mother
that she's got to be strong.

She got this way by trying too hard
over a long time.


Where are you going?

I can't sleep.

I'm just going out for a little fresh air.

I'll go with you.

Take me with you.

No, you stay here, Ann.

We still can't find her.

We're looking everywhere.

Don't worry.
Your mother will return.

I'm sure she just wanted to be alone.

God won't abandon you.
Even if he does, I won't.


It'll be okay.

The wake for Miwako Uekusa
will be held tonight...

at the family's home from 6 pm.

The town extends its deepest sympathies.

They found her buried
in the snow in the hills.

I hear she slashed her wrists.

How dreadful.


forgive me.

I kept telling your mother to be strong.

It's all my fault.

No, it's not.

It's mum's fault.


Weakling! You're a weakling!


I'm so sorry.

It was easy to fix.

Your grandmother told me...
your mother bought this for you.


Don't throw it away.


Now I'm...

all alone.

My mum's left me.

Like I said...

I'll stay with you always.

I promise.

I'll stay by your side.

I promise.


Stop tickling me! Wanna crash?

Eyes forward!

Out of the way!

Watch it, lovebirds!

They need to replace this
with a new bell.

It doesn't work.
It won't grant my wish.

What's your wish?

You'll find out soon.
It'll come true.

Let's go to the Grand Shrine of Izumo.
That'll work.


I'd better earn some money, eh?

Your accent!

You've become a local!


Good afternoon.

I'm home!

We wouldn't have wanted
you at the funeral anyway.

Stop your crying!
Crying won't bring Miwako back.


Did you read my letters?

Go home.
The station's over there.

I honestly didn't realize your mother was ill.

I don't know what to say.

I'm sorry.

Mum wasn't sick.

That's a cop out, Dad.

It was you.

You killed her!

The truth is...
I've read my father's letters.

I found them in the trash.

I might return to Tokyo.

But I just can't tell Daigo.

I'm sorry.
You probably don't understand.

Actually, I do.

I totally understand.


She looks bummed.

Maybe they had a fight.

Shut up!






What's wrong?

My father's... come for me.

I'm probably returning to Tokyo.

I couldn't tell you.


I see.

Look! A rainbow!

Check it out! It's huge!

Let's go to Izumo.

I promised, remember?

There! Over there!

I wish to be with Daigo forever. - Ann

Coming here with mum
feels like a lifetime ago.

My most prized possession.
It needs safekeeping.

By whom?

What's your name?

Daigo Kitamura.

By you, Daigo.

You're really going, then?

Just to Tokyo for a while.
Not forever.

But I made a promise...

that I'd stay with you always.


I love you.

Sorry I couldn't say it sooner.

Sorry I couldn't say it, either.

I love you, too.


"How are you doing, Ann?"

"We're all fine, and fully graduated
from middle school."

"Most of us are attending the
same high school, too."

"Fuji's going to school in Tokyo."

"I like to pretend the hourglass is you."

Distance can really screw with your mind.

What's it say?

You wouldn't understand, Asa.

You've got it all wrong, Ann.

Men don't like to be constricted.

He'll start feeling suffocated
if you come across too heavy.

I'm not being heavy.

I just worry... not being able
to see him every day.

Like I said, "too heavy."

Am I too heavy?

You are.

Still reading that?
Give it here.

There you are.


You seem different.

So do you.
Are you taller?

I don't know.
Have you been to Harajuku?

What? Harajuku?

Come with me.
I haven't been there yet.

You've changed Fuji.

Forget it.

- You like that stuff, huh?
- It's cute.

I want it after all.

Just a sec.


I went wild.
I couldn't help myself.

Can we go this way?

Sure. Gonna buy some clothes?
I'll help you.

No, actually...
I'm supposed to meet someone.


I was hoping you'd stand guard.

"Stand guard?"
For what?

So I don't run off.

That guy's my mum's ex-boyfriend.

I heard a rumor he could be my father.


Remember when I saw you
talking to your dad?

That's when I decided to meet him.

He thought I wanted money.

Sometimes, I don't know
where I'm standing, you know?

Thanks for coming.
I haven't done this in a while.

Done what?

You know, hang out with someone.

You mean a date?

No, I didn't mean that exactly.

If you need to talk,
give me a call.



Let me.

It's been so long, I'm nervous.

Bad breath?

I ate natto for lunch.

But I'm hungry.

Let's go to your house.


Let's go.

Did you see the fireworks in Tokyo?

Only from a distance.
So they looked real small.

I envy you.
I bet they're amazing.

Come visit me then, Shiika.

Count on it.

Give me a light?

I wanted to ask you something.

It's about that kiss.

I'm sorry about that.

What was it then?
A joke?

I tried to forget it, but every time I look
at Daigo now, I remember.

Were you just joking around?

I wouldn't kiss as a joke!

I've always liked you.

I just couldn't say so.


You two talk too loud.


You're too unguarded!

You going to sleep all day?
Hurry and get up.

It's noon.

Be strong...

I'll fix you some food.
Come and eat. Right?

What're you doing in Tokyo?

Fuji was troubled.

Don't cover for him!


I can't go back to Tokyo
feeling this way.

You're the only one I care about.

You're the only person for me, too.

As long as I live.

This has always been
my secret fortress.

If I ever ran away,
I would come here.

Let's go home.

Have you heard from Fuji?

From Fuji?

He's disappeared.
Ever since the night of the festival.

When did you last see your son?

At home on the morning of the festival.

He's not in Tokyo, apparently.

I hope he's not lost in the hills.

You look pale.

This is just like when mum died.

Don't worry.
He just ran away.

Come on.

"Don't worry?"

That's what you said
when mum disappeared too.

But she died.

Fool. Stop that.

Fuji will be back soon.

You don't know that!

You imagine too much.
It'll be okay.

But mum wasn't okay.
She died!

They're not the same!

How would you know?

You don't know my feelings!

I see.

I've been stupid.

All this time...

I believed I helped her
get over her mother's death.

So she'd never be sad again.

I told her that.
I promised her that.

I'm sorry.

I'm an idiot.

Ann, can you leave
without seeing Daigo?

You're just like my brother.

You feel hurt,
but don't think others could be too.

Daigo thinks of you first.
You can think only of yourself.

I've never seen Daigo so confused.

Truth is...

I'm in love with him.


After the job transfer, I doubt
you two will be able to visit much.

Isn't Seattle halfway around the world?

It's about a 9 hour flight.

It sure sounds like you'll be far away.

We've discussed
buying a home there.

You'll be missed.

But I'm glad you've come for your
school reunion. You can say goodbye.

You haven't told your fiance
about your mother?

I haven't found the right time.

I understand your feelings.
But you'd best not hide it.

I know.

Why haven't you visited
your mother's grave till now?

I planned to when I felt
more comfortable about it.

Sounds like a convenient excuse
for someone emotionally weak.

I despise people like that.


Daigo... wasn't that Ann?


I didn't recognize her.

You're kidding!

That man must be her fiance then.

I heard from her grandma
that she's engaged.

Daigo thinks of you first.
You can only think of yourself.

You had a fight.

I knew it. Summer vacations are
dangerous for distant lovers.

Small sparks can easily flare up,
or fizzle out.

Like I said, men don't like
to be constricted.

That's not it!


I made some inari-sushi.
Try some.

You can make that?

See for yourself.

Not hungry. Maybe later.

I swear it's great. Just have one.
Okay, already. But not here.

Let's eat together.


It's Fuji.

Huh?... Oh?



Fuji! Still washing?
Get out there!

Sorry. I'll be right out.


Hurry and call home.

I've no time to argue with everyone.

I don't plan on returning.

Just because Daigo hit you?

Not because of that...
But it did wake me up.

I still like you Ann.

But I've come to realize...

I was no different
than my mum's boyfriend.

I'm finished with being tied to home.
From now on, I survive on my own.

Ann, go to Daigo.

I won't interfere anymore.






Sorry but...

Can you talk?

I wanted to call you.


I want to see you.

I miss you.

Savings for Shimane

Flight 669 from Tokyo has now arrived.

Those meeting passengers are requested
to wait in the arrival lobby.

Why is it so hard for me to love
someone so dear to me?

Why did we break up like that
soon afterwards?

Even now,
I can't stop thinking about it.

Here comes the beer!

How come Daigo's so late?

What happened to him?

Your attention!

This spring, these two will marry!

No way!

Listen up!
Ann's engaged, too!

It can't be! Really?

Uh, yeah.

And... Ann is engaged!

Who's the lucky man?

Enough about me.


Daigo, you're late!

You have some time tomorrow?


I'll be at the station at 11.

I wanted to return this.

It belongs to you.

Congratulations on your engagement.

I couldn't keep my promise
but, be happy, okay?

I will.

She's got two box lunches.
It's love.

I'll leave first.


Hurry home now.


I never dreamed
you'd move to Canada, Shiika.

I'm studying to become a curator.

Totally unexpected.

I grew up never leaving home.
I wanted to get away.

After Fuji got that great job
at a big firm, I grew antsy.

How's he doing?

Busy. I haven't seen him in 2 years,
but we email each other.

He's all excited
about starting his own company.

How about you, Daigo?
You married?

Nope. I'm going it alone.
It's easier this way.

I see.


have you heard from Ann?

Yeah, she's getting married.

To whom?

I don't know.

What's wrong?

Sorry about just suddenly flying in
from Tokyo like this.

You apologize too much.

If only I were a little stronger...

I wouldn't say such stupid things.

That's got nothing to do with it.

Take judo, for example. You can't
force yourself to be strongest.

Strength is built on weakness.

Hop on.

I think I'll go home alone.

You've a big judo meet coming,
and practice, tomorrow morning.

Yeah... right.

Thanks for today.

Let's hear you!

Stay quick on your feet!





Oh. Hi, Shiika.

I... I told Daigo the other day.

That I liked him.
But it was no use.

Instead, he ran to you.

He has that promise.

I've been jealous of you
all this time.

To Daigo... you're special.

He's changed recently.

He used to be so excited about judo.

But now he's quit.

He spends all his time working...

saving up to go to Tokyo.

I tried my best.

But the only one
who can make him happy is you.

Make Daigo happy Ann.





I told Daigo... the other day.

But it was no use.
He has that promise.

To Daigo... you're special.


make Daigo happy.

You scared me. I heard you were
found unconscious in your yard.

I'm scared...

that I'll end up destroying Daigo.

I planned to tell him
he could let go of my hand.

Ann. Aren't you running late?

I think I'll stay home today.

What's with you lately?


Ever since you went home.

Not particularly...
It's nothing at all. Nothing!

Don't lie, Ann.

I'm not.

What's with the hourglass
in your bag?

That was a gift from my mum.

Why not put it on the shelf?

I don't want to.

I don't know what you're thinking
these days.

If there's something you can't
leave behind, don't force it.

I'm not forcing anything.

Stop lying to me!

I can tell when a woman
is dwelling on her past.

What's more, you've been
hiding something from me.

Your mother committed suicide.

Why wouldn't you tell me that?

You hide your past in lies.

I can't stand people
who are weak like that.

They act like solitary victims.

When it's actually
those around them they hurt.

I was told that strength
is built on weakness.

By whom?

Marriage Registration

We decided too rashly.

We needed to know
each other better first.

I'm scared...

that I'll end up destroying Daigo.

You can let go of my hand.

Look at all the stars!

It hasn't rained in weeks.

Did you hear that
Ono's pet frog dried up?

The idiot.
I told him to keep it moist.

Now he's crushed.

The guy's got a good heart.


let's break up.


Aren't I difficult to be with?

What do you mean?

Don't force yourself.

Force myself?

I'm not forcing myself.

I remember how my mum looked
the last time I saw her.

Exhausted, trapped...

Fallen alone.

You think about it too much.

I'll be with you, no matter what.

I don't care what happens...

as long as I'm with you.

We'll fall together.

You say that like it's no big deal.

Thank you... for everything.


Ann, what're you doing?

I don't get it.

Why are you doing this?

If I knew we'd end like this...
I wish I'd never met you.

I didn't fall in love with you
to see it end like this!




Good morning.

Good morning.

Phone call for you, Mr. Kitamura.

Thank you.


Daigo, remember me?

I'm Ann's grandmother.

Yes, how are you?

Ann's gone missing in Tokyo.

Her engagement is off.


I'll go, too.

Take me with you.

Don't leave me.

I don't want to be alone.

What have I done?


I can't.

Get up.

I'll go, too.

Take me with you.


Excuse me! Excuse me!

Pardon me!




Are you leaving?

You stay here, Ann.

You mustn't come.



You fool!
How dare you do this?

Please, ma'am.

I'm... not dead.

You don't get off that easy.

Do you hate yourself that much?
You and your mother both?

Be strong!

You have to be strong.

I know I'm not supposed to...
but it's all I can say.

Be strong, Ann.

You're not alone, Ann.
Everyone's right here.

Everyone's with you.
Okay, Ann?

You're important to us.

I'm sorry, Grandma.

I'm sorry.

I am not alone.

It was Daigo who carried me
from the beach.

There's a landscape I can't forget.

Each and every memory there
made me who I am today.

That road... that river...
that station.

Each and every moment...

is a precious grain of sand
marking time in my hourglass.

Those memories will accompany me...
as I live on.

Perhaps my mother didn't take me
with her that night...

because she loved me
with all her heart.

Thank you... mum.

We will now begin
marking a new year.

The past has become the future...


A postcard arrived at grandma's...
from Fuji.

He's getting married.

To a beautiful woman, he boasted.

That jerk.
He didn't send me one.

Shiika's doing well, too.
It turns out everyone's happy.


I'd like to be made happy too.


I'd like to be made happy.

By whom?

What's your name?

Ann Minase.

Then by you, Ann.

I'd kind of forgotten
about my own happiness.

I was so obsessed with yours.

All I need is you
next to me, smiling.

Now, it's your turn Ann.
Make me happy.

Think you can?

Leave it to me.