村の診療所の医師がついたあるうそ

[From September Issue 2010]

Dear Doctor (Directed by NISHIKAWA Miwa)

ディア・ドクター 販売元:バンダイビジュアル

This motion picture was released in June 2009. It is the third feature-length film by director NISHIKAWA Miwa. She also wrote the script which won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Screenplay. SHOFUKUTEI Tsurubei who is a rakugo-ka (comic storyteller) and a popular TV personality, played the doctor, his first-ever leading role in a movie.

The story is set in a mountain village where over half of the population is elderly. It begins when Dr. INO Osamu (played by Tsurubei), the only resident doctor at the only village clinic, suddenly disappears, and the villagers start to panic. As two detectives start investigating, some of Ino’s past is gradually revealed.

Three and a half years ago, after a chance meeting with the village mayor, Ino was asked to become their resident doctor. He was very diligent in giving the villagers medical care, and along with OHTAKE, the veteran nurse, they even made house calls to conduct medical check ups. The villagers learned to respect him more than “God and Buddha.” Soon after, SOMA, an intern fresh out of a Tokyo medical school, arrived at the village. Soma also learned to appreciate the diligence and kindness Dr. Ino puts into his work and that all the villagers enjoy.

One day, the widower TORIKAI Kazuko collapses. Dr. Ino and his staff rush to her aid after receiving the emergency call, but she insists that there is nothing wrong with her. Concerned, Dr. Ino revisits her again that night. Kazuko pleads with him, “Doctor, please lie with me,” as she wishes to avoid burdening her daughters, who have their own lives to lead. She even insists that her condition be kept secret from one of her daughters, herself a Tokyo-based doctor.

Dr. Ino concedes to Kazuko saying “very well, as you wish,” but in return he makes her promise to take a gastroscopy test. Although he told her that she suffers from a stomach ulcer, he is concerned that she might have cancer, and so requests without telling her, a closer examination at a specialized institution. Her results reveal that she has terminal cancer. However, the doctor, not wanting to depress her, keeps the truth to himself. Then he calls upon his regular pharmaceutical salesman to take the same test, and switches the results.

Kazuko’s three daughters then visit her for the first time in quite a while. Ritsuko, the doctor, realizes that her mother is taking pills and decides to visit the clinic. Ritsuko bombards Dr. Ino with questions as they look at her mother’s swapped gastric photos, and finally accepts the situation. After Ritsuko tells Dr. Ino that she’ll visit her mother again in one year, he suddenly jumps on his motorcycle and disappears.

Despite their intense investigation, the police fail to locate Dr. Ino’s whereabouts. They soon find out that Dr. Ino had no medical license, after which the villagers’ concern quickly turns to accusation. Later, Kazuko is admitted into the hospital where Ritsuko works. There, a man wearing a white cap and a mask and serving tea to patients comes to her hospital room. Ino’s familiar and friendly smiling eyes make Kazuko’s face light up, as the movie comes to a close.

[2010年9月号掲載記事]

ディア・ドクター 販売元:バンダイビジュアル

ディア· ドクター(西川美和監督)

2009年6月に公開された作品。長篇映画三作目となる西川美和が監督を務めた。西川は脚本も手がけ、日本アカデミー賞の最優秀脚本賞を受賞した。落語家でありテレビタレントとしても人気の笑福亭鶴瓶が医師役で映画初主演を果たした。

高齢者が人口の半分以上という山あいの村が舞台。村でただひとつの診療所でたった一人の医師として働く伊野治(笑福亭鶴瓶)がある日、突然姿を消し、大騒ぎになるところから映画は始まる。二人の刑事が捜査を進めるうち、伊野の過去が少しずつわかってくる。

伊野は3年半前、たまたま知り合った村長から頼まれ、医師として村に迎えられた。ベテラン看護師、大竹と診療にあたり、家々を訪ねて健康診断もする熱心さで、村人たちからは「神様仏様」よりも尊敬されている。そこに最近、東京の医大を出た研修医、相馬がやって来た。皆に優しい伊野の人柄と仕事ぶりに、相馬もひかれていく。

ある日、夫に先立たれてから一人で暮らしている鳥飼かづ子が倒れる。連絡を受けて伊野たちは駆けつけるが、かづ子はどこも異常はないと答える。気がかりな伊野はその晩、かづ子を再び訪ねる。かづ子は、それぞれの人生を歩む娘たちには迷惑をかけたくない、東京で医師をしている娘にも体調不良を知らせたくないと言い、「先生、一緒にうそついてくださいよ」と訴える。

かづ子の気持ちを理解した伊野は「よし、引き受けました」と答えるが、その代わり胃カメラ検査を受けさせる。かづ子には胃かいようだと伝えたが、がんを心配した伊野は専門機関に検査を依頼する。その結果、彼女が末期がんに冒されていることがわかる。かづ子を気落ちさせたくない伊野は、真実を告げない。そこで、診療所に出入りする製薬会社の男を呼び出し、胃カメラを飲ませ、診察結果をすり替える。

しばらくして、かづ子のもとに3人の娘たちが久しぶりに里帰りする。母親が薬を飲んでいることに気づいた医師のりつ子は、診療所を訪れる。すり替えられた胃の写真を見ながら伊野を質問攻めにするりつ子だったが、最後は納得する。りつ子がまた1年後に母親を訪ねるつもりと話すと、伊野は突然、バイクで診療所を飛び出し、姿を消す。

警察は必死で捜査するが、伊野の居場所はわからない。やがて伊野に医師免許がなかったとわかると、村人たちの心配の声は非難の声に変わる。かづ子はりつ子の勤める病院に入院する。彼女の病室に白い帽子とマスク姿でお茶を配る男が入っていく。伊野と思われるその男の人懐っこい笑顔にかづ子は微笑みかえし、映画は終わる。

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