Directed by Mitsuaki Iwagō (Japan, 2019 103 min.).
An adaptation of the popular manga Neko to Jichan, The Island of Cats takes place on a small, sleepy island with few cars and many well-fed feline residents. Daikichi (Shinosuke Tatekawa) is a retired school teacher living alone with his cat, Nama, after the passing of his beloved wife. Daikichi was born and raised on the island, and he enjoys his easygoing life there with his surly childhood friend, Iwao (Kaoru Kobayashi), an idiosyncratic cast of fellow locals, and, of course, Nama. When Iwao passes away, Daikichi finds his life beginning to change and worries about his own mortality.
Better known for his wildlife photography, director Mitsuaki Iwagō lends a sensitive, naturalistic approach to the portrayal of animal and human bonds, resulting in a heartwarming film about what makes life worth living.
“And all the while the island’s cats keep reminding us that life can be wonderful if everyone can just get along, bliss out in the warm sun—and snatch the occasional fish from an unsuspecting fisherman.” —Mark Schilling, The Japan Times
With English subtitles