HARMONIUM (FUCHI NI TATSU)
Awarded the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Koji Fukada's latest film uses themes of Japanese domesticity to investigate the surrounding fissures that expand to collapse a family shaken by tragedy. With his wife Akie, Toshio runs a machinery workshop in the garage attached to their family home. When Toshio hires an old acquaintance, recently released inmate Yazaka, the couple's quiet routine is disrupted and unspoken conflicts rise to the surface. Yazaka ultimately earns favor with Akie after offering to help their daughter prepare for a harmonium recital but, as the repetition of the metronome and the discordant harmonium resound, tragedy strikes. Fukada's measured psychological thriller elevates the genre to profound dimensions, shrewdly navigating themes of morality, guilt and atonement to illustrate the inherent solitude that separates us from those to whom we presumably feel closest. — Malin Kan
Tokyo-born Koji Fukada’s first film THE CHAIR was released in 2004. His subsequent films include THE GRENADIÈRE (2006); HUMAN COMEDY IN TOKYO (2008); HOSPITALITÉ (2010); AU REVOIR L'ÉTÉ (2013), which won the Grand Prix at the Tokyo International Film Festival; and SAYONARA (2015).