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Tokyo Sonata

Modern Masters

Kiyoshi Kurosawa / Feature Narrative / Japan, Netherlands, Hong Kong / 2008 / 119 min / 35mm
In Japanese / Arabic, English subtitles
Interests: Drama
Rated: Mature subject matter. Not suitable for minors. Individuals under the age of 18 are not admitted into cinemas.


  • Mon, Mar 18, 07:30 PM, MIA-A
    Tickets sales closed


In ‘Tokyo Sonata’, Kiyoshi Kurosawa—acclaimed master of the slow burning psychological horror—turns his attention instead to “Gendai-geki” (films dealing with contemporary life). A portrait of a seemingly ordinary Japanese family, the film follows hard working husband Ryuhei, his dutiful wife Megumi and their two sons, Kenji and Takashi.

Ryuhei becomes a victim of ‘downsizing’ when his job is outsourced to China. Ashamed, he does his best to maintain his appearance as family head and primary breadwinner by leaving the house every morning, briefcase in hand, to spend his days in the park with other salary men who are ‘in between’ jobs. In his absence, the other members of the family live their own deceptions with his youngest son secretly taking piano lessons and his eldest joining the U.S. military, convincing his mother to sign the papers without telling his father.

At its heart, 'Tokyo Sonata' is about the discomfort that arises when humans cannot honestly express the emotions they experience, as each person struggles to find freedom and fulfilment in what has become a life of overwhelming structure and rules. Aesthetically, it is nothing short of outstanding. As always, Kurosawa masterfully controls his film’s framing and sound design, and his handling of the family’s dynamic challenges viewers to contemplate how societal standards might be shaping our own behavior.

About the Director

Kiyoshi Kurosawa made his feature film directorial debut in 1983 with ‘Kandagawa Wars’. He attracted global attention with ‘Cure’ (1997), following it with notable works ’License to Live’ (1998), ‘Barren Illusion’ (1999), and ‘Charisma’ (1999). In 2001, ‘Pulse’ won the FIPRESCI Prize and in 2008, ‘Tokyo Sonata’ was the Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner. His recent works include ‘Seventh Code’ (2013), which won Best Director at the Rome Film Festival, and ‘Journey to the Shore’, winner of Best Director in Cannes Un Certain Regard (2015).


Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Max Mannix, Kiyoshi Kurosawa & Sachiko
Yukie Kito & Wouter Barendrecht
Koichi Takahashi
Associate Producer
Raymond Phathanavirangoon
Executive Producer
Yasushi Kotani & Michael J. Werner
Hirohisa Mukuju
Kazumasa Hashimoto
Akiko Ashizawa
Sales Company
Fortissimo Films
Masayuki Iwakura
Ryuhei Sasaki - Teruyuki Kagawa Megumi sasaki - Kyoko koizumi Takashi Sasaki - Yu Koyanagi Kenji Sasaki - Kai Inowaki Kaneko - Haruka Igawa Kurosu - Kanji Tsuda Thief - Koji Yakusho

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