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Virtual Cinema Premiere: Koji Fukada’s Slow-Burn Crime Thriller A GIRL MISSING Opens on 7/31
One of the finest Japanese directors to emerge in the last decade, Kôji Fukada has earned renown for crafting suspenseful dramas. Following 2016’s HARMONIUM (淵に立つ, Fuchi ni Tatsu), which captured Cannes’ prestigious Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, he returns with A GIRL MISSING (よこがお, Yokogao, 2019), a tense portrait of a woman caught up in a spiral of defamation.
In this slow-burning thriller, also scripted by Fukada, Ichiko (HARMONIUM’s Mariko Tsutsui) works as a home-care nurse to the elderly matriarch of the Oisho family — long enough to feel like part of the family. She’s closest to the eldest sister, Motoko (Mikako Ichikawa), who’s studying to follow in Ichiko’s footsteps. However, their happy routine is disrupted when Motoko’s sister, Saki (Miyu Ogawa), is abducted. The girl is eventually returned, but it’s discovered that her kidnapper was Ichiko’s nephew — a fact that Motoko insists they keep between them. It’s this shared secret that forges an even closer bond between the two, yielding further confessions — some of which may be turned into weapons.