Japan film in Venice captures tsunami aftermath

Tue Sep 6, 2011 4:18pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - Japanese movie "Himizu" is a twisted tale of abuse, violence and lost youth set against the backdrop of the devastation of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Director Sion Sono, renowned for hard-hitting, anarchic film making, wove real-life events into a screenplay he had just completed when the catastrophe struck.

"Every scene changed drastically," he told trade publication Variety ahead of Himizu's world premiere at the Venice film festival on Tuesday.

"The original manga had no hope in it, but after March 11, I didn't think I should make a film with no hope. I felt that I had to convey it in the film."

The narrative is interspersed with wide shots of flattened towns and mangled buildings destroyed by the tsunami, bringing the disaster to the big screen less than six months after it happened.

The immediacy of those images, visceral performances by the two central teenaged characters traumatized by abuse and a score that includes Mozart's "Requiem" won over many viewers in Venice, with warm applause at the end of a press screening.

Himizu is based on a manga by Minoru Furuya first published about 10 years ago.


<p>Director Sion Sono (R) poses with cast members Shota Sometani (R) and Fumi Nikaidou (C) during a photocall for their film Himizu at the 68th Venice Film Festival, September 6, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>