Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s PENANCE
Source: Free Stone Productions
Official Site: wowow.co.jp/shokuzai (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 (贖罪, Shokuzai, 2012) marks the celebrated director’s anticipated return to the international festival circuit after the success of 2008’s TOKYO SONATA (トウキョウソナタ), 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.
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.
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 (しがらみ学園) was screened at the Independent Film Festival in Tokyo. In 1983, he made his commercial debut with the feature film, THE KANDAGAWA WARS (神田川淫乱戦争, Kandagawa Inran Sensoo). Kurosawa first achieved international acclaim with his serial killer film CURE (キュア, Kyua, 1997).
In 1999, LICENSE TO LIVE (ニンゲン合格, Ningen Gokaku) screened in the Berlin Film Festival Forum, and CHARISMA (カリスマ, Karisuma) was highly acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight. In the same year BARREN ILLUSION (大いなる幻影, Oinaru Genei) was screened at the Venice International Film Festival. In 2006, Kurosawa returned to the Venice Film Festival with RETRIBUTION (叫 さけび, Sakebi). Some of his titles were stored at the Cinémathèque française in 2012.
Shooting Material: HDCAM
Screening Material: DCP, HDCAM-SR, HDCAM
Screen Size: 16:9
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)
Release Date: August 30, 2012
Running Time: 270 Minutes
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
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.