Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cast: Arata, Tadanobu Asano, Yusuke Iseya, Susumu Terajima, Yui Natsukawa
In Japanese, with English subtitles
A businessman, a teenage boy, a teacher, and a young housewife seem like complete strangers who have nothing to say to each other. But each of them has a relative in the cult that committed mass suicide in a lake after sabotaging Tokyo's drinking water plant causing death to more than a hundred and illnesses to thousands. In the beginning of the movie, they're shown going to the lake to pay respect to their relatives. It's the third anniversary of the mass suicide. One of the surviving members of the cult joined them. After paying respect, they discover the car they used to go there and the motorcycle of the surviving cult member are missing. They'll be forced to spend the night in the cabin that where the cult once met.
In the cabin surrounded by darkness, the foursome reflect on the emotional distance of their relatives on the days leading to the incident. The movie uses flashbacks that are all over the place, which is indeed a viewing challenge. I'm not sure if it has a direct effect on the mood that the movie wants the audience to feel. The eventual isolation of the foursome and the surviving cult member (the lake is far from the city, the phone signals are dead, the darkness covering the cabin, etc.) is, in my opinion, symbolic of the emotional distance the perpetrators of the poisoning of drinking water had when they planned the sabotage. The movie is slow but contemplative.
Date seen: March 30, 2014