Wife of a Spy

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

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Release Year: 2021
Running time: 115
Country: Japan
Language: English and Japanese with English subtitles
Subjects:
$17.97 - Classroom Rights
MSRP: $29.95
$349.00 - With PPR
$499.00 - With DSL
$499.00 - With DSL and PPR
MSRP: $599.00
Screening Info
Directed by: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Tadashi Nohara

Master filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Pulse, Cure, Tokyo Sonata) won the Silver Lion (Best Director) at the Venice Film Festival for this riveting, gorgeously crafted, old-school Hitchockian thriller shot in stunning 8K. The year is 1940 in Kobe, on the eve of the outbreak of World War II. Local merchant and amateur filmmaker Yusaku (Issey Takahashi, Kill Bill) senses that things are headed in an unsettling direction. Following a trip to Manchuria, he becomes determined to bring to light the things he witnessed there, and secretly filmed. Meanwhile, his wife Satoko (Japan Society’s 2021 Honoree Yû Aoi) receives a visit from her childhood friend, now a military policeman. He warns her about Yusaku’s seditious ways and reveals that a woman her husband brought back from his trip has died. Satoko confronts Yusaku, but when she discovers his true intentions, she is torn between loyalty to her husband, the life they have built, and the country they call home.

Reviews

“Critic’s Pick! Thrum[s] with unusual intensity… Wife of a Spy is something like linear narrative perfection, with every scene perfectly calibrated.”

Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
 

"Kiyoshi Kurosawa's best movie in years… Another unexpected pivot from a filmmaker who’s never liked putting one foot in front of the other."

David Ehrlich, Indiewire
 

“A period drama with distinct Hitchcockian overtones... in the vintage of Suspicion and Notorious.”

Jonathan Romney, Screen International
 

“An absorbing, exotic, well-paced thriller.”

Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
 

“A suspenseful homefront scenario worthy of John le Carré’s storied blend of tradecraft, history and insight into the ramifications of duplicity… with elements of a Hitchcock-style swirl of marital intrigue, entrapment, and escape.”

Robert Abele, The Wrap
 

“An old-fashioned drama replete with big performances and plot twists, double-cross and triple-cross.”

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
 

"One of Kurosawa's most purely enjoyable entertainments… powered by Yu Aoi’s bravura performance."

Guy Lodge, Variety
 

“Preserves the psychological richness of the spy drama… Aoi’s performance is a celebration of the cathartic possibilities of melodrama as she emphatically yells, cries, giggles and yearns.”

Patrick Dahl, Screen Slate
 

“A historical tale of duplicity and misplaced loyalty.”

Jame Mottram, South China Morning Post
 

“Majestic, and with just the right amount of customary foreboding Kurosawa is known for... [a] haltingly lush melodrama of wartime horrors.”

Nicholas Bell, Ion Cinema
 

"A work of someone in masterful control of atmosphere... Kurosawa brings viewers into the ghastly secret that binds husband and wife together, one that could end their lives if discovered."

John Lui, The Straits Times
 

Awards

Winner: Silver Lion, Best Director – Venice Film Festival

 

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