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Director: Isao Yukisada
Producers: Shinju Ogawa, Tsuyoshi Sugiyama, Takahiro Yoshizawa, Shunsuke Koga
Cast: Fumi Nikaidou, Ryo Yoshizawa
Japan, 2018, 115 min., Japanese with English subtitles
Berlin International Film Festival 2018 – world premiere; Panorama FIPRESCI Prize Winner
The opening film of the exclusive 2018 Berlinale Panorama program is a dark, disturbing, funny, and bizarre surprise.
It is 1994 in suburban Tokyo, and a young girl is being interviewed about a half-burned stuffed bear she keeps in her room. A moment later a burning object falls off a high-rise, causing a tremendous commotion. Then, a naked, injured boy falls out of a locker located at a section of a high school that is being renovated. This is the promising beginning of River’s Edge, which recounts the odd occurrences at a Japanese high school. The plot concentrates on a trio of friends: a gay boy with whom all the girls are in love, thanks to his beauty and sense of fashion; his best friend, who is in a relationship with one of the most violent boys in school, and a teenage model and TV star suffering from bulimia. These three outsiders are bound together – to begin with – by a dark secret in the shape of a decomposing body hidden in a thorny heath in their neighborhood. Prepare for a spellbinding rollercoaster of a film.