‘-1287’ documents the heartbreaking countdown to day zero: the end of 66-year-old Kazuko’s life.

'-1287' marks a return to Raindance for filmmaker Ian Thomas Ash, following last year’s ‘A2-B-C’ on post-Fukushima Japan. Warm, self-conscious 66-year-old Kazuko is not your obvious documentary subject, with her initial reluctance to take the spotlight. As Kazuko’s bond with the filmmaker evolves and her health declines, she opens up on her thoughts and fears of life, death, happiness, and regrets.

Though realistic and resigned to her diagnosis of terminal cancer, Kazuko is understandably anxious. She grieves for the days ahead when she will no longer be able to prepare and consume food in her cozy kitchen, while questioning how much pain she will be able to endure as her illness progresses. Interviews with the filmmaker offer the audience insight into Kazuko’s life before her diagnosis, though revelations are often cryptic. Kazuko’s strained relationship with her husband through an arranged marriage becomes increasingly apparent. On her secretive nature she speculates; “Had there been someone who truly loved me, I might have been more honest.”

Tragic, humane and not without humour, ‘-1287’ is an affecting tribute to Kazuko’s life.

Katie Baldock

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