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Domains

Kusano Natsuka

  • Japanese (with English subtitles); 150 min

Domains - Kusano Natsuka

Japan, 2019, 150 min
  • Starring: Shibuya Asami, Kasajima Tomo, Adachi Tomomitsu, Ryu Kenta
  • Production: Echigoya Takashi

Aki and Naoko are childhood friends who are drifting apart as adults. Immersed in her family life, Naoko now has a husband and daughter; Aki, on the other hand, remains single and is on leave from work due to a personal crisis. The plot might sound familiar but it has never been told like this. The director Kusano Natsuka stages the interactions through an actors’ table-read and, as the lines are repeated, the scenes gradually develop into on-location conversations. Moreover, she repositions the dramatic peak of the story to the beginning: Aki has murdered Naoko’s daughter.

Structurally inventive, Kusano's daring cinema implements ‘distantiation’ effects to get to the heart of friendship issues at times when life has settled. While the repetitions convey the suffocation of role patterns in both friendship and family, a line left out or added in unsettles and reminds us life can take unexpected turns.