There is only one thing wrong with this short film: it’s short. The 20 minutes in which you are immersed in the enchanted, inspiring world of Ben as he explores Tokyo leave you hungering for more.
After the death of their mother, investment banker Anthony (Patrick Brammall) becomes guardian of his brother Ben (Gerarad O’Dwyer) who has Down Syndrome. Forced to take Ben on a business trip to Tokyo, the over-protective Anthony becomes momentarily distracted, and Ben seizes the opportunity to escape and roam free. With his sketchpad and pencil, a savant-level knowledge of Shakespeare and unabashed charm, Ben takes us on a travelogue through Tokyo, meeting various people and overcoming language, culture and misconceptions to enlighten and inspire them.
Writer/director/actor and Bus Stop Films CEO, Genevieve Clay-Smith made the film in partnership with Taste Creative for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, so the crew were given some unique permissions and access. It is beautifully filmed, well written, and truly feel-good.
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich