An exploration of the tensions, insecurities, small joys, and frustrations experienced by Mikami (Koji Yakusho), a middle-aged ex-yakuza who must adjust to his “new normal” when he is released from prison after serving a 13-year sentence for murder.Mikami’s code of conduct, deeply rooted in the rules of the yakuza society he belonged to, does not fit into Japan’s orderly social welfare system.Being pitied or looked down on is not something he can accept nor can he understand the social policy of the government aid aimed at finding him poorly paid odd jobs.Even the predatory media, which initially offered to give Mikami money and help him find his long-lost mother soon reveal their malevolent intention: to exploit his past and present life experiences for their successful, sensational TV program. If it weren’t for Tsunoda (Taiga Nakano), a young and well-meaning TV director who genuinely wants to help Mikami, life outside prison or the yakuza wouldn’t really be worth caring for.A nuanced fresco of Japanese society, masterfully interpreted by Koji Yakusho (“The Third Murder”).
Miwa Nishikawa was born in Hiroshima. She received a degree in literature from Waseda University, and apprenticed under Hirokazu Kore-eda before embarking on a directorial career. Her films include Wild Berries (03), Sway (06), Dear Doctor (09), and the Festival selections Dreams for Sale (12) and The Long Excuse (16). Under the Open Sky (20) is her latest film.