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Mainichi Shinbun (January 6th, 2006)

Outrageous. This film defies all conventional emotions, morals, and virtues. The audience will find themselves thrown-off rather than understood, and feel chaos instead of feeling sympathy.

The film is based on Mangetsu Hanamura's novel. Rou(Hirofumi Arai), who has committed murder is back for hiding in the rural, snowy monastery he grew up in. Rou is lost in the definition of sin, and shows no remorse for his crimes. Without resistance, he serves to satisfy the head priest's (Renji Ishibashi) sexual desires, has sex with a young girl Kyoko (Megumi Sawara), and rapes a nun (Leona Hirota).  Surrounding Rou is an abundance of violence, distorted sex, and death, but there is no standard as to what is normal in the closed confines of the monastery. The holiness of the priest listening to Rou's confession, and the brutality of amputating a mating pig's penis, are both lined up and equalized. The snow-covered expressionless scenery, and Arai's rigid but transparent existence break common atmosphere. All that stands is Rou, who hears voices of gods through his rad, and sniffs other peoples toes.

  This is not a pleasant film. Most would more likely feel discomfort at first. However, what is shown here is the true nature of humans that many try not to look at. The film affirms humans, without the quick fix of catharsis and humanism. The film will test your sensitivity - whether you can face the extraordinary power, or not. The film will open at the Ikkaku, a theater built especially for this film, placed in the TokyoNational Museum.

It will run for at least 6months. In both content and presentation, this film acutely provokes the Japanese film industry. Director Tatsushi Omori's debut film. 1hour47minutes.                    

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