Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival 2019
Audience Award, Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival
Koichiro Oyama, Fumiya Yasumoto
Yu Toyama, Ikkei Watanabe, Sakura Enomoto, Ryo Ushimaru, Naoki Goto
When a stranger with conflicting values joins a village whose inhabitants are closely knit, communal harmony may be affected. This is the case with Hiroshi. When he takes off with the family nest egg, just when his wife is giving birth to their first son, the villagers chase him down and violently beat him. He’s only spared at the last minute by the Reverend’s good graces. Thirty years later, Hiroshi’s scars are still present, except now they’re being borne by his son Shinichi. Depressed, traumatized and lazy, even his family sees his father’s bad blood within, persecuting him to the point of banishment from the village. He seeks shelter with the same Reverend who saved his father’s life years ago. Meanwhile, not far away, the latter continues his degenerate life. As the head of a small band of hoodlums, Hiroshi commits petty con jobs. One failed job too many forces him to hide out at the Reverend’s too. Shinichi and Hiroshi are totally clueless about their shared lineage and the man of the cloth plans to keep it that way, if only to move one and reason with the other.
Both extremely dramatic and at times profoundly funny, HIS BAD BLOOD offers an interesting reflection on redemption, family and morality. A surreal scene during which Hiroshi disrupts mass proves that writer-director Koichiro Oyama doesn’t look kindly upon blind faith, and won’t be running out of dark humour any time soon. For his first feature film, he was able to rely on veteran actor Ikkei Watanabe (SUSPECT X), who has a devilishly good time playing lowlife Hiroshi, making him deliciously despicable. Winner of an Audience Award at the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, HIS BAD BLOOD is proof that independent Japanese cinema remains creatively fertile and isn’t done surprising us. – Translation: Guillaume Desbiens
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