Under the Open Sky
Miwa Nishikawa, 2021 (126m)
Middle-aged former yakuza Mikami (Koji Yakusho) has been released from prison after a lengthy term for murder. After years of following the yakuza code of conduct, a reformed Mikami struggles to adjust to his new normal and the social stigma of being an ex-prisoner. His release from prison does offer him an opportunity to finally track down his long-lost mother. A TV crew offers to help on his journey, but Mikami soon learns they see his story as something to be exploited. Can Mikami adjust to his new life, or is he destined to fall back into old habits? Under the Open Sky is one of the most effective and thoughtful dramas to emerge from Japan in recent years. Star Koji Yakusho is among Japan’s most accomplished actors, thanks to his lead roles in acclaimed films such as Shall We Dance?, The Eel, 13 Assassins and The Woodsman and the Rain. He has rarely been better than he is in this poignant redemption drama - a story brought to life with compassion and care by Miwa Nishikawa, one of Japan’s leading female filmmakers.