If you would have told us this morning that BMW Japan's YouTube channel would bring us to the verge of tears, we would have had a very hard time believing you. However, that's just what they managed to do for us – and you, too, if you decide to watch the nearly 20 minute short film.
It's the story of a boy, his father, and a BMW E30. The story begins with the boy, as an adult, at his father's funeral before flashing back to 1999. It's a sentimental, melancholy slice of life, a storytelling style seen often in Japanese cinema.
The story, narrated by the boy, Hiroto, tells the story of his father's struggle to raise him on his own as he tries to maintain his 200 year old traditional dye business. The father, Masatoshi, always has a positive attitude but clearly has a sadness gnawing at him.
He does his best to provide for his son as the dye business begins to slow in the face of cheaper synthetic dyes for clothing. Thankfully, he has some help in his friend, Koichi, who brings food and supplies for Masatoshi and Hiroto.
He's also helped by his sister Mikako, who, concerned about the state of the business, wants to raise Hiroto. Visiting one day, Masatoshi surprises everyone when he shows up with a white BMW E30 sedan in mint condition.
He takes his son for a drive, and gets in an accident, where it's revealed that the car belonged to Koichi all along. For three months, Hiroto lives with Mikako, but returns to live with his father. Once the BMW was repaired, Koichi transferred ownership to Masatoshi, giving him his first car.
Coming back to the present, Hiroto says his goodbyes while remembering his father by walking in his footsteps, dying cloth indigo and driving his father's beloved BMW on the coast.
As the camera pulls back, showing us the beautiful Japanese coastline, some text appears on screen. Translated, it's three words: "Joy lasts forever."
Source: BMW Japan on YouTube