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Small-time film producer Genya Tachibana is hired to make a documentary commemorating the 70th anniversary of Gin Ei film Studios. He chooses to interview Chiyoko Fujiwara, a one-time superstar actress who has lived as a recluse for 30 years. Fujiwara's life story combines fragments of 20th-century history (compare to Oshin) with dramatic incidents from her acting career, blurring the boundaries between reality and fiction in a similar fashion to the same staff's earlier Perfect Blue. It also discloses the events behind Fujiwara's fall from favor, leading to inevitable comparisons with the desolate opera star of Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories. Though completed in January 2001 and premiered in Montreal that July, the film was not actually given a general release in Japan until September 2002.