The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief

Wildly entertaining and surprisingly poignant, The Great Happiness Space takes us into the subculture of Japanese “host clubs,” where twentysomething men entertain female clients with free-flowing drinks, conversation, and make-believe love, all at staggering cost. Director Jake Clennell obtains near-unfettered access to the top host club in Osaka, where its charismatic top draw host, Issei, and his associates-each with rock star hair and attire-reveal what takes place in these spaces of purchased companionship. In turn, the women explain with remarkable candidness why they continue to financially worship their favorite hosts. As Clannell follows his rather bright subjects with a nonjudgmental eye, we become privy to the true needs and emotions peeking out from beneath the neon, makeup, and sweet talk. The Great Happiness Space offers a surprisingly poignant, illuminating portrait of this strange dance between the sexes, and the very real heart beating inside it.

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