Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76%
IMDb Rating 7 10 1,116


Downloaded times
May 11, 2020


Tadanobu Asano as Kujira
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.19 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
132 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.21 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
132 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by legendlength 9 / 10 / 10

Slow paced and ultra realistic.

This film explores the developing relationships between five individuals in their late twenties. The group is linked by being related to people who were part of a tragic suicide/terrorist cult in Japan. I am a big fan of realism in cinema, and this one didn't disappoint. Most of the film is set deep in the forest. It follows the group as they pay their yearly respects to those lost in the suicide. After finding themselves stuck in the woods, they are forced to take refuge in a nearby hut which was previously inhabited by the cult members. Much of the movie contains stunted and realistic dialog between the group, talking about the cult and touching on philosophy. Their is so much authenticity in the way they act that you feel as though you are part of the group, listening to the conversations. There is some plot although I was a bit lost until I read other IMDb comments afterwards. I also felt it ran a bit long towards the end (around 150 minutes). But there are three elements in this film that made it enjoyable for me: it was focused on a small group of individuals, it was realistic, and it had great acting.

Reviewed by davidals 8 / 10 / 10

poetic...philosophical...cryptic...and excellent

Hirokazu Kore'eda's creative career continues to evolve, and this expansive and meditative drama may be my favorite among his films thus far. All of the Japanese films I've seen that would seem to psychologically touch upon the Aum Shinrikyo gas attacks in Tokyo 10 years ago do so in oblique fashion, turning into great meditations on the idea of some unseen and unexpected terror arising from within, and what that says about a society (not necessarily just Japanese society) that likes to think of itself as secure and a success - most of Kyoshi Kurosawa's films beginning with CURE do this, as does Shinji Aoyama's EUREKA. Hirokazu Kore'eda's DISTANCE is perhaps the most suggessful example of this reflective sub-genre, examining the whys and hows of society's darkest impulses, when those impulses happen to surface unexpectedly. In this rather lean, Dogme-like film, individuals who lost loved ones to a cult-inspired act of terror and mass suicide, gather for a memorial reunion at the place their loved ones died (a former cult compound in a remote location), only to meet the cult's lone survivor. The idea of blame falls away very quickly, replaced by a more meditative sense of trying to logically and emotionally comprehend an event that is literally incomprehensible; thematically this film has an intense global relevance, perhaps more now than when first released. Kore'eda's shifts between hand-held cameras (the actual story) and more polished/composed flashback sequences (watch for a brilliant restaurant scene) illustrating the allure of the cult to it's former members is dazzling, blending the techniques used in his earlier AFTER LIFE and MABOROSI. Kore'eda's roots are in documentary film-making, and a fairly unique style has evolved from that background (one can trace that style through the two earlier features; here it really begins to coalesce into something personal and unique): like Errol Morris, Kore'eda prefers the unobtrusive, allowing characters to reveal themselves in fairly relaxed fashion, with many precise insights emerging during quiet, seemingly random moments. This makes for film-making that is languid in tempo, enigmatic and elliptical in narrative structure (certain characters here actually seem to become more inscrutable as the film progresses), but when it works - and it works very well here - the results are mesmerizing. Like Kore'eda's other work, there's a fairly limited commercial appeal in this extraordinary film; 5 years on it has no distribution in the US, which is very unfortunate - I think a lot of American viewers would be quite stunned by this film, given the opportunity to see it. This one is worth the hunt.

Reviewed by fundaquayman 8 / 10 / 10

My view from a Distance

looking at SSTOCKER1's question and YAKUZA BENGOSHI's comments on the movie, I'd like to offer my take on Koreeda's great exercise of Dogma-style film-making. That said, I don't think it is necessary for us to "get" the story just by identifying the roles of the characters. For example, YAKUZA BENGHOSHI proposes that the mysterious arson/impostor is the son of the cult-leader. But is that a necessary assumption? Does he have to be the son of the leader to feel that kind of emotional attachment to the clan? And aren't most members to cult-groups considered "children" to their respective leaders? (e.g. Guyana, Waco, and Serin gas attack in Japan) The mysterious impostor (played by ARATA)was, if nothing else, at least the link to more than one of the dead members whose relatives joined him on this particular memorial outing. Remember, he is the childhood friend to one of the dead member's brother--medical student,as well as being a friend to the dead female member--Yuko, to whom he claims as his sister. Could he be a recruiter who introduced the cult to 2 of the dead members (i.e. the lifeguard's brother, and the dead flower-shop girl)? What if he was also the one assigned to light the fire to which many of the cult members were killed by? The scene by the river with our mystery man discussing his faith with Yuko seems to propose the idea that this WAS her introduction to the cult. Notice the scenes showing his use of photo-shop to paste himself into the girl's family photo, along with short clips of the mystery man burning photos in the back of the hut (in flash-back form) were both inserted thru-out the film. The consistent association with fire (i.e. the act of burning)could possibly imply his motive at the gathering as his way to rid his guilt for having to end his friends' lives... by helping the others find closure, he ends up resolving his own pain--having met the family of the dead, he finds relief & a way to move on. Notice all the dead cult members in the story joined the clan b/c of being lost (e.g. loss of love or lack of self-worth)... that is, except for the lifeguard's brother who thought the clan offered a way for him to justify his existence and talent as a physician. The housewife felt abandoned by her husband, her companion lacked self-esteem... the flower-shop girl couldn't deal with her brother's suicide, and the teacher felt confined by the existing education system, thinking it hindered his good will and talent to benefit society, etc... Whereas we don't really know why Mr. Imposter became a member. He seemed to have been ambivalent to his purpose in life, and perhaps he felt the cult was the only place where he found a sense of purpose. We know he wanted to heal people, and we know he felt the cult was the answer and antidote to the others'pain. so many questions to a great story that probably didn't warrant having to endure the first 20 minutes to the film (which showed the group getting lost in the woods)... but if you can survive the first 20 minutes, the rest is all worth the wait... DISTANCE (2001) is not as good and entertaining a film as AFTERLIFE (1997), but Koreeda managed to show again how good stories don't need a huge budget, sets, and lots of CG gadgets to turn into a great piece of cinema. can't wait to see his latest film - NOBODY KNOWS (2004)

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