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The Eel

7.0
2,052
Ratings
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Original title
Unagi
Year
Running time
117 min.
Country
Japan Japan
Director
Screenwriter
Shôhei Imamura, Motofumi Tomikawa, Daisuke Tengan
Music
Shinichirô Ikebe
Cinematography
Shigeru Komatsubara
Cast
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Producer
KSS / Imamura Productions
Genre
Drama
Synopsis / Plot
The film opens with Takuro Yamashita (Koji Yakusho), a seemingly normal salaryman, learning that his wife might be having an affair. When he catches the couple in flaganto delicto, he freaks out and brutally stabs them both to death. Eight years later, Yamashita is released on parole into the care of a Buddhist priest living in rural Chiba prefecture. Far away from his former life, yet still plagued with memories of his crime, Yamashita decides to start anew by opening a barbershop on a quiet road next to a canal. Though inward looking and self-conscious, he eventually befriends a bumptious but good-hearted day laborer, and a construction worker who's obsessed with UFOs. His most fateful encounter though is with a woman named Keiko (Misa Shimizu), who he discovers unconscious following a suicide attempt. Looking to put a few of her own demons to bed, Keiko decides to stay in this sleepy corner of Japan and help her savior with his barbershop. Initially against the idea -- she bears a striking resemblance to his dead spouse -- he eventually agrees and even grows to like having her around.
Awards
1997: Cannes: Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) (ex-aequo)
1998: Independent Spirit Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Film
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