Berlinale Forum 2011 – Heaven’s Story


Heaven’s Story
Director: Zeze Takahisa
Japan 2010
Cast: Tsuruoka Moeki (Sato), Hasegawa Tomoharu (Tomoki), Oshinari Shugo (Mitsuo), Murakami Jun (Kajima), Yamasaki Hako (Kyoko)

Nine episodes, a running time of four and a half hours, a dozen main characters, a plot spanning nine years.

A survival story, of those who have lost everybody. The agony of bereavement by murder. “The man I wanted killed died before I had the chance.”

Lives connected by murder and loss. “There are events in life that are quickly forgotten by those who aren’t involved, but for those involved they never come to an end.”

“Eight-year-old Sato, whose family was wiped out by a psychopath who then went on to kill himself, learns by chance of a man who has sworn to take revenge on the man who murdered his wife and daughter. For eight long years she waits in vain for him to keep his promise, then takes the initiative herself, setting in motion a chain of tragic events that gradually plunges everyone involved into misery.”

A policeman who becomes a contract killer to support the family of a man whom he killed in self-defense; a partially deaf girl in a rock band; a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s who adopts a murderer who ends up loving her past death.

“I want to be remembered by the unborn.” The loss of memory, of one’s self.

“When your family is murdered, aren’t you entitled to happiness?”

Tears and pee. The dead keep watch.

Read the Forum essay.

Update: US Distributor – Asian Crush (2011)