Harmonium

Fukada (Hospitalité, Au Revoir L’Ete), who has quickly developed into one of Japan’s foremost auteurs, delivers a bracing vision of familial balance sliced through with turmoil upon the arrival of a mysterious acquaintance from the past. Yasaka (Tadanobu Asano), just released from prison for undisclosed crimes, returns to the home of old confidant Toshio (Kanji Furutachi), who lives with his wife Akié (Mariko Tsutsui) and daughter. Toshio, a machinist whose spare workshop is in the family garage, hires Yasaka as his assistant, the latter hoping to re-assimilate into normal daily life. But Toshio has been less-than-clear with Akié about the two men’s past dealings and the nature of their friendship—and as past transgressions begin to seethe forth, everything the family has built becomes perilously threatened. Featuring an ingenious editing style and beautifully understated yet effective cinematography, Harmonium is “quietly combustible…the film provides the veteran cast with an ideal framework to mount masterful performances.”—Maggie Lee, Variety. Winner of the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Appears in: Japanese Currents

Genres: Drama