2 Best Movies to Watch by Jano Williams

Staff & contributors

Directed by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, this documentary combines intimate interviews, fly-on-the-wall observation, and striking cinematography to present a compelling glimpse into the lives of three transgender individuals working as hosts in Tokyo's bustling Shinjuku district. With unprecedented access to the subjects' lives, the documentary delves deep into their emotional journeys, capturing their hopes, fears, and aspirations surrounding identity, gender, and societal acceptance.  An eye-opening documentary that wastes none of its 53-minute runtime, Shinjuku Boys challenges preconceived notions and invites viewers to empathize with individuals navigating a world that often marginalizes them. 

Genre: Documentary, Drama

Director: Jano Williams, Kim Longinotto

When caught between taking pro wrestling too seriously and looking at it like cosplay martial arts, I lean towards the latter precisely because of cultures like this. This documentary gets in the weeds of starry-eyed trainee aspirations, as well as the physical and psychological disfigurement of those dreams that come one dropkick to the face at a time. Saika Takeuchi getting to debut doesn’t even feel like a victory at all. I wonder how much of this only happened to the extent that it did because there were cameras present; then again, I try not to think about this documentary too much.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: Chigusa Nagayo, Hisako Sasaki, Kaoru Maeda, Meiko Satomura, Saika Takeuchi, Yuka Sugiyama

Director: Jano Williams, Kim Longinotto