82nd Academy Awards
Best Foreign Film
A teenage girl whose brother has been arrested for murder,
and the cop assigned to protect her.
Both are on the run from an angry public
that has already passed judgment on their lives.
Ryoichi Kimizuka, known as a established screenwriter of the landmark gBayside Shakedownh series, pours his consummate flair for human drama into a scathing critique of contemporary Japanese society with gNOBODY TO WATCH OVER MEh also as a director for his second feature film.
Shot entirely on location with a hand-held camera to heighten the realism of the action and actorsf performances, the docudrama-like narrative about a cop trying to protect a young girl from an angry public is likely to touch a sensitive nerve among Japanese audiences, while providing foreign audiences with revealing insights into the pervasive ethic of shame and the role of the gfamilyh in Japanese society.
A 15-year-old middle school girl is picked up at school by the police when her elder 18-year-old brother is arrested on suspicion of randomly murdering two grade school girls. She is put under the protection of a dedicated yet conflicted police detective who has orders to shield the girl from the inevitable public outrage that is to follow. Through these two protagonistsf eyes, we get a glimpse into the vulnerability, the isolation and even the resilience of the individual when up against a volatile and often intolerant world.
gThey will pursue and condemn you for the rest of your life.h
When a heinous crime is committed in Japan, society lays the blame on the victimizerfs family.
gThe police are bringing him out now! The 18-year-old boy who is believed to have randomly murdered two grade school girls last month has just left his home in police custody!h
The Funamuras are a typical suburban family of four. At least it seems soc until the police barge in on the home one afternoon to arrest the eldest child, an 18-year-boy old studying for college entrance exams, but who is the leading suspect in a highly-publicized murder of two grade school sisters.
Detective Katsuura (Koichi Sato) of the Toyoshima Police Precinct in Tokyo is about to spend some much-needed time away from the job to patch up relations with his estranged wife and daughter when he gets called out on a highly irregular assignment - to assist in the protection of family members of the murder suspect. gProtect them from what?h he queries. But seeing the rabble of reporters, gawkers and outraged citizens outside the Funamurafs doorstep, he begins to understand. gSometimes the sudden disintegration of normalcy and the enormous pressure of public censure can drive the suspectfs family members to suicide,h explains his police chief. gWe come in to prevent that. We need the family to prosecute the case.h
Indeed, the police manual for this type of assignment calls for separating family members and taking them to undisclosed locations for questioning. Katsuura is put in charge of protecting the 15-year-old daughter, Saori (Mirai Shida), but the relentless media circus proves impossible to shake, forcing the two to flee Tokyo for the countryside. But even there, angry citizens use Internet billboards to hunt them down. With no place to hide, Katsuura and Saori find themselves forced to confront their overturned lives.
- Koichi Sato
- Mirai Shida
- Ryuhei Matsuda
- Yuriko Ishida
- Kuranosuke Sasaki
- Shiro Sano
- Yoshino Kimura
- Toshiro Yanagiba
- Produced by: Chihiro Kameyama
- Written by: Ryoichi Kimizuka and Satoshi Suzuki
- Music: Takatsugu Muramatsu
- Producers: Hirotsugu Usui, Yoshihiko Taneda
- Associate Producer: Tomoyuki Miyagawa
- Line Producer: Shinya Furugori
- Cinematographer: Naoki Kayano
- Lighting Director: Masahiro Isono
- Sound Editing by: Kiyoshi Kakizawa
- Art Direction by: Shu Yamaguchi
- Assistant Director: Taiichi Sugiyama
- Set Decoration by: Koichi Hirai
- Editing by: Junosuke Hogaki
- VFX Director: Masayuki Yamamoto
- Production Chiefs: Yasushi Hashimoto, Takeshi Saito
- Director: Ryoichi Kimizuka
Fuji Television Network, Nihon Eiga Satellite Broadcasting Corporation, Toho
a F.I.L.M. production
Distributed by Toho
© 2009 Fuji Television Network, Nihon Eiga Satellite Broadcasting Corporation, Toho