Shangri-La | 2001

Foreign
A typical small business heading straight into the toilet as one bubble after another bursts over the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Umemoto Printers, already creaky thanks to antique equipment, is only the smallest domino to ...more

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Company

Daiei Company

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Synopsis

A typical small business heading straight into the toilet as one bubble after another bursts over the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Umemoto Printers, already creaky thanks to antique equipment, is only the smallest domino to fall as owner Seisuke Umemoto fails to collect on debts from the larger companies he supplies; in turn, he can't pay his loyal employees. This mousy man-of-honor goes on a near-suicidal bender, eventually ending up in a ramshackle shantytown on the edge of Tokyo. Far from being a creepy slum, the ad-hoc village is well run by a quiet powerhouse and possible former yakuza everyone calls the Mayor. With the help of super-organized squatters, like an unemployed postal worker, a blocked novelist, and a would-be private snoop, Umemoto is able to navigate tricky bureaucratic waters in order to get the goods on Nagashima, a corporate CEO who has declared high-profile bankruptcy while secretly funneling his assets through various mistresses and side-companies. After several smaller schemes, the Mayor and company finally get back to Umemoto's beloved Heidelberg presses where they literally give him a license to print money -- or something as good as money.

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