A depiction of the darkness within the family of a son convicted of a brutal murder, based on real events in Japan.
Director Masaaki Akahori made his stellar directorial debut with “The Samurai That Night” (’12, starring Masato Sakai and Takayuki Yamada), a film that made the rounds in the first films competition of the Montreal World Film Festival, the first feature film competition of the London Film Festival and the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, earning Akahori plaudits inside and outside of Japan. The Katsuragi Incident is the screen adaptation of a stage play written and directed by Akahori himself, which he personally rewrote for the screen.
In the role of Kiyoshi Katsuragi is one of Japan’s foremost actors, Tomokazu Miura, known for powerful and charismatic performances in such films as “Outrage” (’10). Here, he plays a father who harbors ideas about the ideal family, but instead takes it down a path of destruction. Miura drives the role with powerful commitment and strength. Supporting cast as the other family members includes Kaho Minami, Hirofumi Arai, and Ryuya Wakaba, whose outstanding audition won him the lead role of the second son. Marquee actress, Rena Tanaka, joins the cast as the woman who marries the convicted son while he’s in prison, rounding out a stellar acting ensemble evoking a troubled family and people pushed to the edge.
Based on actual events in Japan, the film exposes the darkness enveloping the family of a son convicted of a brutal and indiscriminate murder. It is a deep and incisive foray into the darkest realms of the human soul, depicted with a no-nonsense realism and emotional density that burrow deeply into the viewers’ hearts and minds.
”This is not a story about what happens to ‘other’ families, but is actually happening in homes all around us. It is a portrait of human gracelessness and folly that still begets a valiant desperation to cope, cutting deep into the hearts and minds of viewers, and shaking their sensibilities to the core.”
“What exactly did I do wrong?”
Kiyoshi Katsuragi (Tomokazu Miura) has inherited his father’s hardware store. With his beautiful wife, Nobuko (Kaho Minami) and two sons, he has just built his dream home. It should have been the start of the ideal family life. But little does Kiyoshi realize how his strong convictions come to dominate, alienate and oppress his family. The eldest son, Tamotsu (Hirofumi Arai) grew up an obedient and competent child, but now struggles with human relationships. He can’t bring himself to tell anyone that he has been recently laid off from his job. Meanwhile, his younger brother, Minoru, (Ryuya Wakaba) lacks any patience or perseverance to stay employed in any part-time job, and every setback prompts harsh scorn from his father, Kiyoshi. This causes Minoru to feel unfairly victimized. The mother, Nobuko, has long lived in silence due to fear of her husband, and has ceased to think for herself… until she reaches the tipping point and explodes, venting her dissatisfaction at her husband and running off. And yet, the worst is still to come. Minoru, as a shut-in NEET, finally snaps and goes on a killing spree randomly stabbing people in the street. After his arrest, angry citizens spray paint the family home with “Murderer!” or make death threats over the telephone. And then, a woman vehemently opposed to capital punishment appears before Minoru on death row saying she wants to marry him as the Katsuragi family begins its spiraling descent.
■ 20th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (2016)
- World Fantastic Red
■ 19th Shanghai International Film Festival (2016)
- Tomokazu Miura (三浦友和), Kaho Minami (南果歩),Hirofumi Arai (新井浩文), Ryuya Wakaba (若葉竜也) / Rena Tanaka (田中麗奈)
- Written and Directed
- Masaaki Akahori (赤堀雅秋) (The Samurai That Night ’12)
- Japan release
- June 18, 2016
- Drama, Thriller
- Technical Specs
- Color / 1:1.85 / Digital / 5.1ch