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Monster

Saori suspects that her son’s teacher is bullying him. Hirokazu Kore-eda tells the story three times, from different perspectives, and each time the assessment of what happens changes.

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An apartment building is on fire. Fire trucks rush to the site of the accident. Saori and her 11 year old son Minato watch the fire from their balcony. Then the narrative moves on from the fire, centers very different, more everyday stories, but the film will keep returning to this event, which has left an ominous shadow over the story and hints at a – past, imminent, present – catastrophe.

Saori and Minato have different worries. Since the death of his father, Minato has displayed erratic behavior. He cuts his hair, comes home with just one shoe, and one night he disappears completely. When Saori finds him in a wooden area outside of the city, she takes him to task and Minato tells her that his teacher, Mrs. Hori, has been bullying him and told him that he had pig brains. When Saori demands a meeting at the school, the answers from the school heads and teacher are shockingly evasive. It’s a misunderstanding, there needs to be better communication in the future, they’re very sorry. Mr. Hori seems like a dubious, disingenuous guy. This fits with the rumors that are spreading about him: he visited a hostess bar which was located in the building that caught on fire.

But then Kore-eda returns to the night of the fire and tells the story again, this time focused on the experience of Mr. Hori, who notices very different things during school than Saori does at home. Suddenly, Minato doesn’t seem so innocent, and another boy comes into focus, the small, dreamy Yori, who is being bullied by kids in class. Like in Kurosawa’s RASHOMON, the film goes through the story a third time, this time the experience of the two children are decisive, and the perspective shifts once again.

With each iteration, the picture that the audience gets becomes more complete, details are centered and the evaluation of the facts change. Primarily, it is clear how much harm short-sightedness and impatience can cause. While the adults pass hasty judgments and never truly listen, the children’s world has a completely different rhythm and has completely different questions, fears, and longings that determine them. MONSTER paints a picture of a society that is losing empathy, and at the same time has so much of it for its little protagonists.
The film music comes from Ryuichi Sakamoto, who passed away in March of last year. This was the last film score he made.

Hendrike Bake (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Levy

Credits

Original title: Kaibutsu
Japan 2023, 125 min
Language: Japanese
Genre: Drama
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Author: Yūji Sakamoto
DOP: Ryûto Kondô
Montage: Hirokazu Koreeda
Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Distributor: Plaion Pictures
Cast: Sakura Ando, Eita Nagayama, Soya Kurokawa, Yota Hiiragi
FSK: 12
Release: 21.03.2024

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Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
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Monster

(Kaibutsu) | Japan 2023 | Drama | R: Hirokazu Koreeda | FSK: 12

Saori suspects that her son’s teacher is bullying him. Hirokazu Kore-eda tells the story three times, from different perspectives, and each time the assessment of what happens changes.

Screenings

Friedrichshain

b-ware! ladenkino

Wednesday 01.05.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmeU15:15

Neukölln

Rollberg

TODAY

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/rollberg OmeU18:15

Friday 26.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/rollberg OmeU18:15

Saturday 27.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/rollberg OmeU18:15

Sunday 28.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/rollberg OmeU18:15

Monday 29.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/rollberg OmeU18:15

Tuesday 30.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/rollberg OmeU18:15

Wednesday 01.05.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/rollberg OmeU18:15

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