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Sion Sono (2011)

18 Certificate


Our Score
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.

Cast & Crew

Sumida Shota Sometani
Keiko Fumi Nikaido
Shozo Tetsu Watanabe
Keita Tamura Mitsuru Fukikoshi
Keiko Tamura Megumi Kagurazaka
Sumida's father Ken Mitsuishi
Keneko Denden
Director Sion Sono
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Other Information

Language: Japanese +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Third Window FilmsGuidance: Swearing. Released on: 1 Jun 2012