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Tuserassumo-Takuya balaie dohyo.jpeg



« You would be wrong to miss this movie. (…) You will recognize in Jill Coulon a mistress filmmaker. » Philippe Meyer, France Culture




Takuya is 18, with tousled hair and an athletic look. Driven by his father and sponsors, he leaves his hometown in Hokkaido to go to Tokyo and join a sumo stable. There, he will share everything with the 10 other wrestlers: communal life, training, social life and tournaments.
Coproduced by Japanese tv NHK as part of its « Tokyo Modern Series », granting an exceptional access, the film recalls the dreams and disenchantments of a teenager who is discovering the reality of the traditional world of sumo.

A film directed by Jill Coulon 

Produced by Thomas Balmès

Year of production: 2009

Length: 106′, 83′ and 55′

Production: Margot Films, NHK, Quark Productions

Distribution: Aloest distribution




“There is something ideal about this elegant documentary : the romance of situations, Tokyo filmed like a dead end, the snow on Hokkaido, the tearful face of the wrestler with his body on his guard and at the end of his tether”. Didier Péron, Libération

“A remarkable documentary, between initiation story and organic nightmare.” Sandrine Marques – Le Monde

”A Normal Life is an atypical and surprising film. The sublime images of a Tokyo by night or Asahikawa under the snow captured by Jill Coulon freeze space and time to better explore the confined world of sumos.” Florent Bouteiller, Le Monde

“Powerful images in line with Frederick Wiseman (Boxing Gym)." Nicolas Didier, Télérama

“You would be wrong to miss this movie. (…) You will recognize in Jill Coulon a mistress filmmaker.” Philippe Meyer, France Culture

“The camera discreetly takes its place between the subjects, without ever imposing itself, and serves a fascinating documentary in the heart of an unknown culture..” Clément Sautet, Studio CinéLive

“An intense documentary about the need to bend to traditions to better free oneself..” Bernard Achour, Première

”A Normal Life is, in every way, a very nice documentary..” Matthieu Amat, Critikat

« A very beautiful film (…), far from clichés. » Thomas Chauvineau, France Inter


Etoile de la Scam 2011
Jury’s Special Prize, Festival du Film d’Education 2010
Special Jury Mention, Flahertiana Film Festival 2010
Best First Film, MiradasDoc 2010
Prix spécial du jury, festival du film d’Éducation d’Évreux

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