Director - Werner Herzog
Script - Werner Herzog
Camera - Werner Herzog
Cast - Ishii Yuichi, Mahiro Tanimoto
Producer - Roc Morin
Production - Skellig Rock

Werner Herzog breaks new ground in film form, melding the direct style of his documentary works and relentlessly inventive storytelling into an understated and sublime concoction set in Japan. His co-conspirator and star is Yuichi Ishii, the real-life CEO of Family Romance LLC, a company that rents out human surrogates for his clients’ every need – a family member for a social event, someone to take the blame for a mistake at work, a stranger to help you relive the best moment of your life. In the film, a mother asks Ishii to impersonate her long-absent husband and reconnect with her teenage daughter. The situation becomes a tangled net of transaction and emotion. Using a tiny crew and serving as his own cameraman, Herzog once again captures the idiosyncrasies of the human condition, crafting a modern fable that feels like a throwback to his early years, and yet entirely new.

Watch in the Sofia IFF ONLINE programme at