SciFi Japan

    Kiyoshi Kurosawa`s PENANCE

    Source: Free Stone Productions Official Site: (Japan) Additional Material: Nippon Connection

    SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a Japanese movie not yet released in North America.

    Kiyoshi Kurosawa`s PENANCE (??, Shokuzai, 2012) marks the celebrated director’s anticipated return to the international festival circuit after the success of 2008’s TOKYO SONATA (????????), which won a string of awards including the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival.

    PENANCE is based on the third book by author Kanae Minato, whose debut novel Confessions sold over 2 million copies and was adapted to an equally popular film. The story is a shocking portrayal of a chain of tragic events as seen from the viewpoints of five different women, which reveals the poison and darkness lurking in the human heart. Starring Kyoko Koizumi, Yu Aoi, Eiko Koike, Sakura Ando and Chizuru Ikewaki, PENANCE debuted as a five episode television drama which aired on the satellite station WOWOW from January 8 – February 5, 2012. A theatrical cut was first screened on August 30, 2012 at the Venice International Film Festival. Both the television series and the theatrical version are now being offered for international distribution by Free Stone Productions.
    SYNOPSIS Fifteen years ago, tragedy struck a small town when a young elementary school girl named Emili (Hazuki Kimura) was abducted and killed by a stranger. Four girls (Erika Omata, Manatsu Kimura, Asumi Kikuchi, Kyoka Shibata) who had been playing with Emili at the time of her abduction are the first to discover her body. The kidnapper is never found and the crime goes unsolved. Crazed with grief, Emili’s mother Asako (Kyoko Koizumi) condemns the four girls, none of which can remember the murderer’s face. She tells them, “Do whatever you have to to find the killer. Otherwise, you must pay a penance of my choosing.” Deeply affected by Asako’s condemnation, the four girls become adults (Yu Aoi, Eiko Koike, Sakura Ando, Chizuru Ikewaki) burdened with the curse of “penance” which eventually triggers a chain of tragic events.

    FESTIVALS La Biennale di Venezia 2012 Toronto International Film Festival 2012 Festival International de Cine de San Sebastian 2012 Busan International Film Festival 2012 Taipei Golden Horse Award 2012 Rio De Janeiro International Film Festival 2012 San Francisco International Film Festival 2013 Nippon Connection 2013 DIRECTOR: KIYOSHI KUROSAWA

    Born on July 19, 1955 in Kobe, Japan. Kurosawa started directing 8mm independent films while studying Sociology at Rikkyo University. In 1980, His first work SHIGARAMI GAKUEN (??????) was screened at the Independent Film Festival in Tokyo. In 1983, he made his commercial debut with the feature film, THE KANDAGAWA WARS (???????, Kandagawa Inran Sensoo). Kurosawa first achieved international acclaim with his serial killer film CURE (???, Kyua, 1997). In 1999, LICENSE TO LIVE (??????, Ningen Gokaku) screened in the Berlin Film Festival Forum, and CHARISMA (????, Karisuma) was highly acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival Directors` Fortnight. In the same year BARREN ILLUSION (??????, Oinaru Genei) was screened at the Venice International Film Festival. In 2006, Kurosawa returned to the Venice Film Festival with RETRIBUTION (?????, Sakebi). Some of his titles were stored at the Cinémathèque française in 2012.

    CREDITS Genre: Drama Shooting Material: HDCAM Screening Material: DCP, HDCAM-SR, HDCAM Screen Size: 16:9 Sound: Stereo TV series Version Japan Release: January 8, 2012 – February 5, 2012 (WOWOW) Number of Episodes: 5 Running Time: 300 Minutes (Episodes 1 & 5: 75 Minutes Each / Episodes 2, 3 & 4: 50 Minutes Each)

    Theatrical Version Release Date: August 30, 2012 Running Time: 270 Minutes Cast Asako Adachi: Kyoko Koizumi Hiroaki Aoki: Teruyuki Kagawa Sae Kikuchi: Yu Aoi Maki Shinohara: Eiko Koike Akiko Takano: Sakura Ando Yuka Ogawa: Chizuru Ikewaki Takahiro Otsuki: Mirai Moriyama Tanabe: Kenji Mizuhashi Koji Takano: Ryo Kase Keita Murakami: Tomoharu Hasegawa Mayu Murakami: Ayumi Ito Detective Moriya: Hirofumi Arai Detective Yabe: Kyusaku Shimada Toshio Adachi: Tetsushi Tanaka Emili Adachi: Hazuki Kimura Staff Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa Screenplay: Kiyoshi Kurosawa Original Work: Penance by Kanae Minato (Tokyi Sogensha Co., Ltd.) Producers: Tomomi Takashima, Yumi Arakawa, Nobuhiro Iizuka Cinematography: Akiko Ashizawa Lighting Director: Hidenori Nagata Production Design: Chie Matsumoto Music (Composer of Original Score): Yusuke Hayashi Production Company: WOWOW Inc. Production Support: Nikkatsu Corporation, Django Films, Inc. International Sales: Free Stone Productions © 2012 WOWOW INC.

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