THE REBIRTH

A Film by Masahiro KOBAYASHI
35mm – 1,85 – mono – 102min – JAPAN
© MONKEY TOWN PRODUCTIONS

Director’s statement
The motif of this film — a girl’s murder by her classmate — is an incident that actually happened in Japan. Moreover, it’s an everyday experience in Japan for the victim’s family, more than the culprit’s family, to be put in the stocks and subjected to trial by fire by the mass media. While writing the screenplay, I wanted to add these elements, and also include the current problem with the gap in Japanese society to make it more suited to the present era. When I wrote the screenplay, the words “original sin” came to mind and I noticed this was the same theme as my previous film “Bashing.”The movie is limited to the factory and the dormitory, and it made me recall Solzhenitsyn’s “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” which I’d read long before (in the film, the book is the protagonist’s favorite). I realized this incident should take place in a prison or dorm!If the camera stubbornly observed them, I believed something would happen. To heighten the tension between the two people, I excluded any dialog from all the scenes except for the interviews.A murder victim’s father and a murderer’s mother meet by chance in the confined space of a dorm, and set out on the path to rebirth. If “Bashing” is a story of “indulgence,” then “The Rebirth” must be a story of the rebirth of love that follows.

Synopsis
A high-rise apartment block on the sprawling Tokyo Bay shore. For the middle classes, this new residential area on reclaimed land is desirable property. On the other side of the canal, the lower classes live on public housing estates.Junichi lives in the high-rise apartment and works at a newspaper. His wife died from cancer several years before and now he lives together with his daughter. One day, the incident happened.His daughter was stabbed to death in her elementary schoolroom by a classmate. Having already lost his wife, and then his daughter, Junichi loses all reason to live. He quits the newspaper, withdraws from the world. One year later, he takes a manual labor job in Hokkaido. Junichi stays at the hostel-like dorm, wakes every day at the crack of dawn, goes to the ironworks, and works. He returns home and goes to sleep along with the setting sun. Junichi meets a woman Noriko who makes the beds and cooks breakfast. Noriko was the mother of the girl who killed Junichi’s daughter.Noriko too lives a quiet life as if in hiding in a remote place in Hokkaido. By chance, the victim’s father and the assailant’s mother meet. They see each other every day, but never introduce themselves or exchange a word. Living as though shouldering the burden of original sin, Noriko gradually becomes an irreplaceable presence to Junichi.One day, Junichi buys two prepaid cell phones at a convenience store and gives one to Noriko. To Junichi, it was a sign of affection. But Noriko lives by stubbornly excluding others and refuses to accept it. Junichi feels thoroughly rejected. The more Noriko rejects Junichi, however, the more she feels something starting to change inside her.It seems as though Noriko’s frozen heart is gradually starting to thaw.Then, Noriko buys two prepaid cell phones at a convenience store and gives one to Junichi.But Junichi dumps the cell phone in a trash can.Can these two people ever communicate heart to heart?Will love blossom between them?“Life without you is impossible. But I don’t have the capacity to live with you.”

Crew:
Director: Masahiro Kobayashi
Screenplay: Masahiro Kobayashi
Cinematographer: Koichi NISHIKUBO
Editor: Naoki KANEKO
Sound: Daisuke AKIMOTO, Tatsuo YOKOYAMA
Lighting: Norio Minamizono
Producer: Naoko KOBAYASHI

Cast:
Man: Masahiro KOBAYASHI
Woman: Makiko WATANABE

Festivals:
Festival del film Locarno
★“Golden Leopard” (Grand Prize)  “Youth Jury Prize”  ”CICAE Prize”  “Daniel Schmid Prize”
Filmfest Hamburg
Busan International Film Festival
Kyiv International Film Festival Molodist
Viennale International Film Festival
KINOTAYO Festival du Film Japonais Contemporain
Stockholm International Film Festival
International Film Festival Bratislava
Film Festival CINEPUR’S CHOICE
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Vesoul Festival International des Cinemas d’Asie
Trømso International Film Festival
Fajr International Film festival
México City´s International Contemporary Film Festival
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival
Belgrade International Film Festival
International Forum of Social Films “Time to Live”
Barcelona Asian Film Festival
International Independent Film Festival Indie lisboa
Zebracinema and FilmFestival Open Doek
Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival
Istanbul International Film festival
Festival de Granada CINES DEL SUR
Taipei Film Festival
Moscow International Film Festival
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival

Production:
Monkey Town Productions

World Sales:
Celluloid Dreams
http://www.celluloid-dreams.com/celluloid_dreams_library/
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