Plan 75

Tribute to Baisho Chieko

Plan 75
Japan/The Philippines, 2022, 113’, Japanese
Directed by: Hayakawa Chie 
Screenplay: Hayakawa Chie, Jason Gray
Photography (color): Urata Hideho
Editing: Anne Klotz
Art Direction: Shiokawa Setsuko
Music: Rémi Boubal 
Producers: Frédéric Corvez, Jason Gray, Eiko Mizuno Gray
Executive Producers: Frédéric Corvez, Will Fredo, Konishi Keisuke, Kunizane Mizue, Eiko Mizuno Gray, Maéva Savinien, Maéva Savinien
Cast: Baisho Chieko, Isomura Hayato, Stefanie Arianne, Kawai Yumi, Takao Taka 

Date of First Release in Territory: June 17th, 2022 


Developed from a segment in the 2018 omnibus Ten Years Japan that screened at Udine FEFF,  Hayakawa Chie’s Plan 75 depicts a Japan in which a Japanese government program promotes voluntary euthanasia among those aged 75 and older. The film, which premiered at Cannes last year in the Un Certain Regard section and received an honorable mention in the Camera d’Or competition for first-time directors, is obviously a drama about a dystopian future. 
And yet in Hayakawa’s low-key, matter-of-fact treatment, in which government bureaucrats recruit the elderly for the program with a veneer of kindness and concern, the story plays less like speculative fiction, more like a penetrating commentary on one of the world’s fastest aging countries.
Prior and following the film’s release in Japan in June of 2022, Hayakawa was interviewed by dozens of local media outlets, including ones that normally don’t cover films. She was asked to comment less on her casting decisions, more on how Plan 75 reflected present-day reality, with resentment among Japan’s young people growing over the tax burden they will have to bear to care for the nation’s rapidly expanding population of pensioners. More recently, a 38-year-old Japanese professor at Yale University, Narita Yusuke, made headlines for suggesting that the solution to the graying of Japan is for the elderly to commit mass suicide. That is, Plan 75 minus the film’s soft sell of an easeful death.
Based on a Hayakawa’s original story, the film focuses on Kakutani Michi (Baisho Chieko), a 78-year-old hotel cleaner who lives alone, minus family support. Nonetheless, she is managing to make ends meet when she is abruptly fired, with her age the reason, and starts to find her independence slipping away. Plan 75 begins to look like the only solution to her dilemma. Accompanied by a friendly call center operator (Kawai Yumi) for the scheme, Michi goes to a bowling alley that calls up memories of good times with her now-deceased husband – a last taste of life before proceeding to a voluntary death.    
Meanwhile, a lonely widower (Takao Taka) decides to enroll in Plan 75 – and discovers that his processing agent is his long-lost nephew (Isomura Hayato). The shocked nephew gives his uncle’s case to someone else – and tries to get the old man to reconsider. 
Finally, a Filipina (Stefanie Arianne) trying to raise money for her daughter’s medical treatment takes a job at a Plan 75 facility, and is assigned to sorting out the belongings of the newly dead. Comparisons with Nazi concentration camps spring to mind.  
These plot threads come together in ways haunting and disturbing, but not totally grim and hopeless. There is also a solemn beauty in the work of award-winning cinematographer Urata Hideho that helps elevate Plan 75 above doomy miserabilism. 
The final takeaway to this film, which has won a shelfful of prizes in Japan, including Best Actress awards for star Baisho Chieko: Human life is precious at whatever age and human connections, even fleeting ones, can change fates, no matter what has been signed on the dotted line.     


Hayakawa Chie


Born in Tokyo in 1976, Hayakawa Chie studied photography at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Her short film Niagara was screened in the Cannes Cinéfondation section in 2014, while winning prizes at many festivals. She contributed a segment, Plan 75, to the 2018 feature anthology Ten Years Japan, which was executive-produced by Kore-eda Hirokazu. She later expanded Plan 75 to a full-length feature that screened in the Cannes Un Certain Regard and received the Caméra d’Or Special Mention. Released in Japan in 2022, the film was a commercial and critical success and was selected as Japan’s nominee for a Best International Feature Oscar.



2022 – Plan 75

Mark Schilling
Film director: HAYAKAWA Chie
Year: 2023
Running time: 113' 30''
Country: Japan
26/04 - 07:30 PM
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
26-04-2023 19:30 26-04-2023 21:23Europe/Rome Plan 75 Far East Film Festival Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da UdineCEC Udine