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Harmonium

(Fuchi ni tatsu)

Dir: Koji Fukada, 2016, Japan, 120 mins, Cert: 12a

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Mon 22 May // 20:00 *
Tue 23 May // 20:00

Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession / * cheap night)

Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Koji Fukada’s consistently strange “thriller” is a captivating portrait of a Japanese family whose existence is slowly disturbed by an unsettling house-guest.

Toshio, Akie, and their daughter Hotaru lead a simple - if unsatisfying - life in small-city Japan. Apparently on a whim, Toshio invites an old acquaintance, Yasaka, to stay with the family, who it is soon learned has just been released after a stint in prison.

The events that unfold are sometimes tender, sometimes violent, but always strange and surprising, a narrative tempo mirrored by Fukada’s alternatively classical and formally bold visual style. Fukada’s directorial choices illustrate a cycle of crime, guilt, and punishment which slowly corrodes his despondent characters and ultimately upends their banal family existence.

"A quietly tense examination of a family in slow freefall." ★★★★ Little White Lies

"a provocative, intelligent movie for those with a strong emotional constitution"★★★★ Time Out

"well worth watching for those with the stomach for a cold, bitter, intoxicating deep drink of bleak" ★★★★ Guardian

"A chilling slow burner that’s as much about the breakdown of a relationship as it is a mystery" ★★★★ Observer

Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office.