The Japanese Embassy in London will Screen Kei Kumai’s Film Darkness in the Light on April 12th at 18:30. Doors open at 18:00 and you will need to register before heading in.
Kei Kumai is probably most well-known for the period drama The Sea is Watching (2002) which got a DVD release in the UK (it’s in my local library) although Darkness in the Light is completely different since it offers a take on a tragedy in contemporary Japan, the sarin gas attacks that took place in 1994. It played at the Berlin Film Festival in 2001.
Darkness in the Light
日本の黒い夏 －冤罪－ 「Nihon no kuroi natsu – enzai –」
Running Time: 119 mins.
Release Date: March 24th, 2001
Director: Kei Kumai
Writer: Kei Kumai (Screenplay), Koichi Hiraishi (Original Work)
Starring: Kiichi Nakai, Akira Terao, Naomi Hosokawa, Nagiko Tono, Yukiya Kitamura, Renji Ishibashi,
Synopsis: The poison gas incident that occurred in the city of Matsumoto on the night of 27 June 1994 was a terrible disaster that claimed a large number of casualties. The police searched the home of a man, an average citizen, who was the first to inform them of the incident and who was himself one of the victims, on suspicion of murder, without any clear grounds for suspicion.
Through the eyes of high school students who later investigate the mass media coverage of the crime, the film depicts an innocent human being who finds himself in desperate straits due to the power of the police and the mass media, which made wildly inaccurate reports. It also highlights his strong bonds with his family who firmly believe in his innocence in spite of all the cruel slander and prejudice they experience. The director forcefully scrutinises the media reporting and the police investigation carried out at the time as he painstakingly brings the truth to light.
The film will be screened on Thursday, May 12th at 18:30. Admission to the films is free but you need to register for a ticket. For more information, head to the embassy’s site.