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Harmonium 12 rating

Kôji Fukada's mixture of slow-burn thriller and off-kilter family drama won Un Certain Regard Jury prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Drama 2016 120 mins

Director: Koji Fukada

Overview

In this slow-burn Japanese thriller Toshio invites an old acquaintance, Yasaka (just released from prison) to come and live with his family. Toshio lives above the small workshop that he owns with his wife, Akie, and their daughter, Hotaru. It is not clear why Toshio offers Yasaka a job; it doesn t seem to be out of friendship or goodwill. Akie and Hotaru are wary of the new lodger, but with his persistent charm and goodwill, Yasaka befriends Toshio s wife Akié and as Yasaka starts teaching their daughter Hotaru to play the harmonium, the family s fragile domestic bliss is forever altered.

From the director of Au Revoir L’Ete and Hospitalité, Fukada s Harmonium is an off-kilter take on that most venerable of Japanese genres the family drama, which screened to great acclaim at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Un Certain Regard Jury prize.