Japan | 2016 | 95 min | Japanese | Director Attending
This pensive drama deals with issues of crime and punishment, the Japanese perception of justice and the repercussions of a murder. 43-year- old businesswoman Harumi suffers the tragic loss of her daughter, who is killed by son-in- law Koji. Harumi becomes obsessed with Koji’s motive and begins to visit him in prison, where he is awaiting the death penalty. As the pair talk, Harumi comes to believe that Koji is the only one who really understands her pain and struggles to deal with her grief by finding out what triggered the crime. Consequently, she campaigns to delay Koji’s execution—a turn which opens up a rift between herself, her husband and her brother. Made on a miniscule budget, Her Mother surpasses its financial limitations through gripping performances and intense, skillful direction.
Yoshinori Sato was born in Aichi, Japan, in 1975 and studied filmmaking at the University of Southern California, US. He has worked as a director in Japanese TV whilst simultaneously producing independent films. Yoshinori has directed one other feature, Bad Child (2013). Discussing his latest work, he says, “About ten years ago, when I was researching for a TV programme, I learned that there are bereaved families trying to reconcile with the perpetrator. Some people tried to stop the death penalty for perpetrators. Examining the reasons, there were people who made such decisions because of religion, thought and beliefs. However, some people are acting regardless of their values. I made this movie because I wanted to think with everyone, what to do with what we cannot understand?”