Kumi Takiuchi, Ken Mitsuishi, Yuumi Kawai
Documentary director Yuko is putting together a piece about bereaved families connected to a bullied schoolgirl’s suicide that happened three years earlier.
Her high school denied that she was bullied, and appears to have fabricated a lascivious affair between the girl and her teacher to shift the blame, which led her to take her own life. This caused a public outcry, generating a barrage of criticism leveled not only at the school, but also the girl’s teacher. This eventually drove him to protest his innocence in the most extreme way possible: by committing suicide himself.
Yuko’s unshakable determination to shed light on the truth without compromising brings her into conflict with conservatively-minded management at her documentary’s television network, but succeeds in getting her interview subjects to emerge from their shells, and place their trust in her.
Then one day, Yuko discovers that her father Masashi, who runs a cram school where she also works part-time, has impregnated a young student named Mei.
Both Masashi and Mei fear the backlash that would come if word of their predicament were to get out, so they seek Yuko’s help.
To protect the families of the bullied girl and the teacher in her documentary from public persecution, Yuko goes against her principles and struggles with her conscience as she finds herself telling lie after lie. However, her father’s transgression gives her a new perspective as the close relative of a “victimizer,” which adds depth to her documentary and ironically wins the praise of her producer and the network.
Yuko privately arranges for Mei to have an abortion, and everything seems to progressing toward a positive resolution, until...
Unforeseen developments occur one after another, throwing Yuko’s perception of truth and untruth off balance, and forcing her to make life-altering decisions.
Director: Yujiro Harumoto (Going the Distance)
Festival & Awards: Audience Award at Pingyao IFF 2020, Jury Award at Pingyao IFF 2020, New Currents Award at Busan IFF 2020, Tokyo Filmex 2020, Singapore IFF 2020
Production Year: 2020