Japanese Title: さよなら渓谷
Romaji: Sayonara Keikoku
Release Date: June 22nd, 2013 (Japan)
Seen at the BFI London Film Festival 2013
Running Time: 117 mins.
Director: Tatsushi Omori
Writer: Shuichi Yoshida (Novel), Tatsushi Omori (Screenplay)
Starring: Yoko Maki, Shima Onishi, Nao Omori, Anne Suzuki, Arata, Hirofumi Arai, Mayu Tsuruta
SPOILER WARNINGS IN EFFECT I have done as much as possible to avoid major spoilers for this mystery drama, even going as far as altering plot synopses from older posts where I mention this film but there are still some spoilers. The official festival synopsis and trailers give a lot away but whether you know the twists or turns is pretty irrelevant because at its heart is a story about sexual violence and witnessing the suffering caused to characters is gruelling and quite affecting. It may be better to watch the film and come back if you are still interested.
A boy has been killed in a valley dense with trees and his mother, Satomi Tachibana, is the prime suspect. As the press besiege her house the police arrive to arrest her.
Meanwhile her neighbours, factory worker Shunsuke Ozaki (Onishi) and his wife Kanako (Maki), a convenience store worker, seem to be uninvolved. Apparently a happy couple, the two try their best to ignore the press and carry on with their lives.
As the police are investigating the murder rumours emerge that Satomi is romantically involved with Shunsuke Ozaki (Onishi).