Air Doll

Friday, February 4 - Thursday, February 17, 2022

A present-day fable for the increasing disconnect we find in urban life, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s AIR DOLL transports the Galatea myth to present day Tokyo.

A life-size air doll (Bae Doo-na, The Host) lives in a shabby apartment in Tokyo. She cannot speak, nor can she move. But she is the only companion her middle-aged master has. He talks to her, puts her in a bath, and makes love with her every day after he returns from work.

This routine life is disrupted when fantasy turns into reality. The air doll suddenly comes to life, filled with a soul. Like a newborn baby, she doesn’t understand what is going on around her, but she sees a world waiting to be explored outside the apartment. Eventually venturing to the outside world, the air doll is fascinated by everything she sees, and though she meets many people in all walks of life, they can’t seem to provide her an answer to what “being alive” means. 

When the air doll wanders into a video store, her world is forever changed. She meets Junichi (Arata Iura, After Life), the clerk, and immediately falls in love with him. The air doll begins working in the store and everyday, she and Junichi become closer. They go to the movies and explore the city together…like a couple. Everything is going perfectly for the air doll, until one day when her hand is accidentally cut and she begins to deflate in front of Junichi… 

A romantic fantasy that explores the complexities of love and loss, joy and pain, fantasy and reality, this bittersweet love story examines the intricacies and frailties of human existence.

Adapted from the manga by Yoshiie Goda and featuring breathtaking cinematography from Mark Lee Ping-Bing (In The Mood For Love).

 
  • Country Japan
  • Year 2009
  • Running Time 116 minutes
  • Distributor Dekanalog
  • Director Hirokazu Kore-eda
  • Writer Hirokazu Kore-eda (screenplay), Gouda Yoshiie (manga)
  • Editor Hirokazu Kore-eda
  • Cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-bing
  • Cast Bae Doo-na, Arata, Itsuji Itao, Joe Odagiri, Masaya Takahashi, Susumu Terajima
  • Accessibility Assistive Listening, T-Coil

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.