The Great Happiness Space - Tale of an Osaka Love Thief (2005)Director: Jake Clennel
Tagline: "As long as you have a penis we don't like you!"
This documentary follows the lives of the men in a host bar called Cafe Rakkyo in Osaka, in particular the manger Issei. All their clients are female and like the snake eating it's own tail they are nearly all women who work in hostess bars or as sex workers.
There are no moral judgements made by the film maker in this case and the people involved are left to tell their own stories which makes for a better documentary. There were a lot of chuckles from the screening audience for some of the situations depicted and some of the comments by the subjects.
I have to admit that it would have started to get boring if we hadn't have found out what most of the female customers do for a living, but it was interesting to find out.
My favourite scene was at the end when all the hosts were closing up the bar for the night, totally wrecked and having to carry some of their work mates out to the taxi.
This documentary was OK and worth a look if you see it on TV one day. I overheard a comment from an audience member on the way out that Issei no longer works in the business and has "vanished" when someone tried to check up on him, which was intriguing to say the least.
This site is definitely not affilated with the Melbourne International Film Festival (DUH!) or the Melbourne Underground Film Festival.