It’s rare indeed that I ever wished a new Japanese film were longer — and I am not the only one. “This could be shorter by (name your number) minutes” is such a cliche of Japanese film reviewing and commentary that I inwardly groan every time I read or hear it; and yet more often than not, it’s right. The two-hour film that crams in as many characters and story lines as possible from its source manga/novel/TV drama has become the industry standard.

But when Makoto Shinozaki’s “Arekara (Since Then)” ended at 63 minutes, a point at which many a film made here is just clearing its throat, I did want more of this sensitive and poetic albeit rather thin drama, about a couple torn apart by forces beyond their control.

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