4 user 8 critic

The Rebirth (2007)

Ai no yokan (original title)
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 »



On Disc

at Amazon

4 wins. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bashing (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Yuko volunteered to be an aid worker in Iraq and was taken hostage there. When freed she returned to Japan, but after being home six months she is still the ongoing object of harassment ... See full summary »

Director: Masahiro Kobayashi
Stars: Fusako Urabe, Nene Ohtsuka, Takayuki Katô
M/Other (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Tetsuro is living with his young girlfriend Aki in a pleasant house in Tokyo. They both spend a lot of time at their jobs. However their routine is upset when Tetsuro brings his 8 year old ... See full summary »

Director: Nobuhiro Suwa
Stars: Tomokazu Miura, Makiko Watanabe, Ryudai Takahashi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A care-giver at a small retirement home takes one of her patients for a drive to the country, but the two wind up stranded in a forest where they embark on an exhausting and enlightening two-day journey.

Director: Naomi Kawase
Stars: Yôichirô Saitô, Kanako Masuda, Machiko Ono
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

On the subtropical Japanese island of Amami, traditions about nature remain eternal. During the full-moon night of traditional dances in August, 16-year-old Kaito discovers a dead body ... See full summary »

Director: Naomi Kawase
Stars: Nijirô Murakami, Jun Yoshinaga, Miyuki Matsuda
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An ordinary village in Northern China, the last day of the winter vacation. Four idle, aimless adolescents gather at Zhou Zhixin's home, a friend who lives with his father, brother and ... See full summary »

Director: Hongqi Li
Stars: Jinfeng Bai, Lei Bao, Hui Wang
Parque vía (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Enrique Rivero
Stars: Nolberto Coria, Nancy Orozco, Tesalia Huerta
Fraulein (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Ruza left Serbia, her country, over 30 years ago and lives in Zurich. Her daily life is a string of repetitive moments until, one day, Ana arrives on the scene and upsets Ruza's ... See full summary »

Director: Andrea Staka
Stars: Mirjana Karanovic, Marija Skaricic, Ljubica Jovic
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Haru's Journey provides an insider's look at Japanese culture through its themes of acceptance, endurance and familial commitment. It tells the story of elderly fisherman Tadao and his ... See full summary »

Director: Masahiro Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Eri Tokunaga, Hideji Ôtaki
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Willie Kluggs enters the service with hopes of going overseas, but his uncanny marksmanship keeps him at home as a shooting instructor... much to his embarrassment.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Dan Dailey, Corinne Calvet, Colleen Townsend
Shinjuku Swan (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Set in Shinjuku, an entertainment and red-light district, Tokyo, Japan. The main character Tatsuhiko doesn't have money or a job. One day, he meets a scout who recruits girls on the streets... See full summary »

Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya, Mao Asou
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Kôji Fukada
Stars: Fumi Nikaidô, Mayu Tsuruta, Taiga
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Masahiro Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Shinobu Terajima, Kazuki Kitamura


Cast overview:


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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

24 November 2007 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Odrodzenie  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An audacious drama, although its bold narrative strategy eventually gets tiring
2 October 2007 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

The Locarno Film Festival is renowned for showing interesting, unconventional films, favoring fresh, undiscovered talent over established names. The two do occasionally mix: one example is Anthony Hopkins' directorial debut Slipstream, a stream-of-consciousness satire that competed at the 2007 edition. It didn't win anything, though: the prestigious Golden Leopard was picked up by Masahiro Kobayashi, who stunned critics and audiences with The Rebirth, a minimalistic character study of rare poignancy.

As well as writing and directing, Kobayashi plays the male lead, while Makiko Watanabe portrays his female co-star. Both characters are nameless, and at the beginning of the movie they are shown as they get interviewed on the same subject: a young girl murdered by one of her schoolmates. The man is the victim's father, the woman is the perpetrator's mother; she would like to apologize for what happened, he doesn't want to hear from her at all. From that point on, those two sorrowful adults go on with their lives, occasionally running into each other while they follow the same boring routine, day after day.

Most filmmakers would show said boredom through a montage, but Kobayashi is not like most directors: his vision of repetitive life consists of showing the same events all the time, making the film a 100-minute succession of a handful of scenes, all alike. Man goes to work, woman goes to work, man has lunch, woman has lunch, man goes home, woman goes home - for the entire duration of the movie, bar the opening and closing interviews, which are also the only spoken parts in the picture. The director's idea of cinema is one of simplicity, but at the same time it provides unexpected complexity: the absence of dialogue (and music) in the identical sequences that keep appearing in a prearranged order makes the action very straightforward, but in the meantime it leaves a lot of unanswered questions regarding the characters' thoughts and feelings. If the man refuses to speak to the woman, why does he walk by places where he knows she will appear at a certain time? In fact, why do they keep working in nearby facilities, given that would only worsen the situation?

Kobayashi's narrative technique is fascinating, but after a while it becomes the film's primary weakness: on one hand, bringing the audience to the brink of insanity by repeatedly playing the same scenes reflects the effect everyday life has on the protagonists, and therefore his point is proved admirably; on the other, it is a choice that can work only for a limited amount of time - there is a very thin line between "inspired" and "pretentious", and after 50 minutes Kobayashi gets dangerously close to crossing it, giving the impression that his storytelling device is less of an organic part of the film, and more of a trickery used for its own sake.

In the end, The Rebirth is interesting but also frustrating, a movie that will move and irritate in equal measure. Still, pictures this brave are a rarity nowadays, which is why Kobayashi's challenging art-house film should be seen: it may feel like it's going on forever, but hey, isn't life exactly the same?

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Omrumuzu Yedin serdarhoca
Discuss The Rebirth (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: