Vacation(休暇) Vacation(休暇)
Film Date :   June 7, 2008
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Vacation(休暇)is a June 7, 2008 Movie directed by Hajime Kadoi Japan.


InKyukaKaoru Kobayashi plays Hirai, a middle-aged prison guard who becomes close to a Death Row prisoner and then volunteers to become his "crutch" (sonaeyaku) when the Justice Minister signs his execution order. A "crutch" is expected to hold on to the death row inmate when they make their final walk to the gallows and hang on to them until the trapdoor drops. In return for taking on such a stressful task, the person is usually given a weeklong vacation prior to the execution.

Hirai then spends his week off work going through an omiai arranged marriage with single mother Mika, played by Nene Otsuka.


The prison guards working in penitentiaries where death row inmates are locked up are forced to spend their daily lives constantly facing death. Hirai, a veteran prison guard, is one of such men. He turns his back on things that disturb his peace of mind, and handles the routine work dispassionately. Hirai is about to get married to Mika, a single mother. Their wedding day draws closer, even though he has not had enough time to become truly acquainted with Mika's son, who refuses to open up to him. One day before the wedding, the date of execution is set for Kaneda, one of the death row inmates. Hirai finds out that if he acts as the supporter (the execution assistant) during the execution, he'll be entitled to a week's vacation. So he volunteers for this job, one which everybody loathes, in order to make time to be with his new family.

This film is based on a short story by Akira Yoshimura, the author of the novel that Shohei Imamura's film "The Eel" was based on. A man who had idled his days away until then finds himself facing a huge obstacle that he must overcome in order to re-evaluate his life. This film deals with the darkness in the heart of the death row inmate who has been deprived of all hope, the anguish of the prison guards who are burdened with their appointed task of robbing the inmate's future, and the feelings of profound sadness and love of the people in these men's lives. The portrayal of the days leading up to the execution and the new family's modest first trip together highlights the happiness and family ties of each character in this story, creating a solid, moving drama about people who are forced to squarely face life and death.

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