AITAI is a poetic short fashion film portraying gender fluid expressions in Tokyo. Shot on a 16mm camera, the filmmaking duo Miluum, composed by Sachiko and Mica Komagata, showcase the beauty and the ambiguity, unveiling bits of the quiet battle that Riku and Minor, both non-binary models in the film, face as members of the LGBTQIA+ community in Japan.
The name of the film, AITAI (会いたい), is conceive by the creative duo as ‘longing’, representing the search for identity expressions in a context where queer rights are limited. For example, Japan is still the only country in the G7 that does not allow equal marriage. In the words of the creative duo: “The challenge was to make a film that gives an impulse to feel and think without explaining too much”.
“Queerness is still perceived by many as a disease, so living a queer life in Japan costs you leaving aside your sexual identity, to not be categorized, so you can be perceived as ‘natural’ by society.“
Infused with the soothing Japanese aesthetics, the film invites deeper reflection about the way queer identities and queer culture exist and find a sense of belonging in societies that renounce them. “In ancient times, Japan has been much more open about queer culture. As the introduction of Western culture and Christianity deepened, taboos against sex gradually increased. Queerness is still perceived by many as a disease, so living a queer life in Japan costs you leaving aside your sexual identity, to not be categorized, so you can be perceived as ‘natural’ by society. Various types of support for LGBTQIA+ people are making efforts to improve the situation, but the fight for equal rights is still a real struggle”.
Directed by MILUUM (Sachiko and Mica Komagata), DOP Mica Komagata, Cast Riku and Minor, Edition by Dominik Braz Bittrich, Music and Sound Design Gordian Gleiss at 86 Tales, Colorist Lutz Forster, Voice Liv Ayana, Lighting Direction Yasuyuki Suzuki, Camera Assistant Yuta Tokeshi, Hair and MakeUp Yuna, Props Dayoshi, Support Soup Film, Cooperation WaWian, Co-Producer Kohsuke Sakai, Location Manager Hironori Togawa, Camera Equipment Retro Enterprises