The Backwater (共喰い, Tomogui) is a 2013 Japanese drama film directed by Shinji Aoyama, starring Masaki Suda.[1] It is based on the Akutagawa Prize-winning novel by Shinya Tanaka and adapted by Haruhiko Arai. The film won the Best Director award from the Swiss critics' federation and the Best Film award from the Junior Jury's at the 2013 Locarno International Film Festival.[2]

The Backwater
Directed byShinji Aoyama
Written byHaruhiko Arai
Based onTomogui
by Shinya Tanaka
Produced byNaoki Kai
StarringMasaki Suda
Ken Mitsuishi
Yūko Tanaka
CinematographyTakahiro Imai
Edited byGenta Tamaki
Music byIsao Yamada
Shinji Aoyama
Style Jam
Distributed byBitters End
Release date
  • September 7, 2013 (2013-09-07) (Japan)
Running time
102 minutes

Plot edit

Toma (Masaki Suda) lives with his father, Madoka (Ken Mitsuishi), and Madoka's lover, Kotoko (Yukiko Kinoshita) on the riverside in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Toma's mother, Jinko (Yūko Tanaka), resides on the other side of the bridge, making a living by cleaning fish. Madoka routinely beats and chokes women when having a sex. As Madoka's son, Toma is afraid of becoming like his father.

On his 17th birthday in 1988, Toma has sex with his girlfriend, Chigusa (Misaki Kinoshita).

Cast edit

Production edit

The song "Torna a Surriento" was used in the closing credits of the film.[3]

Release edit

The film screened in competition at the 2013 Locarno International Film Festival.[4][5]

Reception edit

Jinshi Fujii of Yomiuri Shimbun praised the film, noting that "Aoyama has succeeded in transmigrating the tradition of Japanese film through something more than mere repetition."[6] Meanwhile, Dan Fainaru of Screen International felt that "the script relies mostly on its female characters that are unsurprisingly far more alive and interesting than the men in their lives, and the same goes for the performances of the three lead actresses."[7]

References edit

  1. ^ Noh, Jean (May 3, 2013). "Rezo picks up Aoyama's Backwater". Screen International.
  2. ^ Young, Neil (August 25, 2013). "Backwater (Tomogui): Locarno Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ Schilling, Mark (September 12, 2013). "Aoyama looks to the 1980s without nostalgia". The Japan Times.
  4. ^ Belsito, Peter (July 21, 2013). "Locarno Film Festival Lineup". IndieWire.
  5. ^ Maheshwari, Laya (August 16, 2013). "Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Shinji Aoyama on Japanese Film and Why 'Oblivion' Should Be in the Art House". IndieWire.
  6. ^ Fujii, Jinshi (February 22, 2013). "Blood and Transmigration - Shinji Aoyama's Tomogui (The Backwater)". Yomiuri Shimbun.
  7. ^ Fainaru, Dan (August 14, 2013). "Backwater". Screen International.

External links edit