Japan is a powerhouse in the animation world, and Studio Ghibli stands above them all. Like Pixar, Ghibli has elevated its medium with one extraordinary film after another. Their films have ranged from cult classics (My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service) to masterpieces (Grave of the Fireflies, Spirited Away). Co-founder Isao Takahata delivers worthy addition with Only Yesterday, a meditative journey of self-discovery. A forgotten film from 1991, Only Yesterday enchants with the richly detailed animation, patient storytelling and complex morality Studio Ghibli’s known for.
Taeko (voiced by Daisy Ripley) is an adventurous young woman ready for a 10 day holiday from her dreary nine to five job. While her sisters’ idea of a holiday involves a fancy hotel, she’d rather travel to the countryside, working in the rice fields. This year, she’ll spend her holiday in a village picking safflowers. There, she finds more sense of fulfillment that she gets in her job. She also bonds with the locals, especially Toshio (Dev Patel) an old friend from long ago. But as the holiday comes to a close, she finds herself asking what she wants from life.