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The Rebirth (2007)
"Ai no yokan" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  24 November 2007 (Japan)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 200 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 8 critic

Coincidence and the aftermath of violence. A man's middle-school daughter has been murdered. His wife is already deceased. He tells a counselor he wants to live in anonymity, working with ... See full summary »

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Coincidence and the aftermath of violence. A man's middle-school daughter has been murdered. His wife is already deceased. He tells a counselor he wants to live in anonymity, working with his hands. He moves away and gets a job in a factory. The woman who is the mother of the killer wants to apologize to the father, although she knows it would change nothing. He refuses to meet. She moves back to her hometown. She works in the kitchen at an inn where the man now lives. No one speaks. He eats alone. He reads in his apartment. She walks to her home and has a sandwich. She keeps her eyes lowered. He drives to work. Does either want to connect? What bond can they establish? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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24 November 2007 (Japan)  »

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Odrodzenie  »

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"Meticulous, diverse and subtly narrated..."
8 July 2012 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

Japanese producer, screenwriter and director Masahiro Kobayashi's twelfth feature film which he wrote, was shot on location in Japan, premiered at the 59th Locarno International Film Festival in 2007 and was screened at the 20th Tokyo International Film Festival in 2007. It was produced by producer and wife of the director Naoko Kobayashi and is a Japanese production. It tells the story about Junichi, a middle-aged man who has moved to a small industrial town called Hokkaido on a northern Japanese island. All though having gotten himself a new job and a place to live at an inn, Junichi is mourning the death of his young daughter who was killed by one of her classmates. Junichi lives a painstakingly ritualistic and isolated life, but one day he notices the mother of the girl who murdered his daughter in town and decides to try contacting her.

Distinctly and precisely directed by Japanese filmmaker Masahiro Kobayashi, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated from the protagonist's point of view, draws an incisive and unsentimental portrayal of a grief-stricken man's struggle to reconcile with the loss of his daughter. While notable for it's sparse dialog, naturalistic milieu depictions, fine production design, cinematography by Koichi Nichikubo, editing by Naoki Kaneko and use of sound, this character-driven and unconventional psychological drama about two people with a shared pain whose lives are entwined, depicts an in-depth study of character which examines themes like grief, loneliness, interpersonal communication and reconciliation.

This at times humorous, demanding and humane story which goes into the core of the main character's affliction, is impelled and reinforced by it's rigorous narrative structure and the understated and introspective acting performance by director Masahiro Kobayashi. A meticulous, diverse and subtly narrated modernist drama which gained, among other awards, the Golden Leopard for Best Film Masahiro Kobayashi at the 59th Locarno International Film Festival in 2007.


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