• 18
  • Sion Sono (2011)
  • Jpn (SUB)
  • 129 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

This drama about a teenage boy trying to keep body and soul together in the wake of Japan's 2011 tsunami was shot in a devastated prefecture shortly after the event itself. Some may see this as opportunism, but writer/director Sion Sono (Love Exposure) had already been preparing a film about a troubled youth's concern for the future when the earthquake struck, and the subject matter seemed to fit with the tragic circumstances. Here, 15-year-old schoolboy Sumida tries to make a go of the family boat-hire business - he sees himself as a mole (a himizu), living the quiet life - but his drunken father would rather see his son kill himself for the insurance pay-out. In the volatile atmosphere of a ravaged nation, however, a will to survive can soon mutate into hatred towards society. Sono's film delivers a broadside against the self-interest and complacency of the older generation. It's bitter and angry fare at times, yet Shota Sometani's committed central performance really touches our hearts as Sono faces the ultimate challenge of finding hope in the midst of disaster.

Plot Summary

Sumida and his schoolmate Keiko are 15 year old school kids living a dystopian existence where each of their parents hope and encourage them to die. Set in tsunami-hit areas of Japan, the story follows roughly that of the manga of the same name.

Cast and crew


Shota Sometani
Fumi Nikaido
Tetsu Watanabe
Keita Tamura
Mitsuru Fukikoshi
Keiko Tamura
Megumi Kagurazaka
Sumida's father
Ken Mitsuishi


Sion Sono

Other Information

Japanese +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Third Window Films
Released 1 Jun 2012