River’s Edge is based off of the manga series by Kyoko Okazaki. It stars Fumi Nikaido as Haruna Wakagusa and Ryo Yoshizawa (Ryusei Sakuta/Kamen Rider Meteor of Kamen Rider Fourze) as Ichiro Yamada during the 1990s. Yamada is bullied in school due to his sexuality, but Wakagusa is always there to stick up for him. The two become close, and Yamada tells Wakagusa a secret: he found a dead body on the riverside. Soon after, another body is found.
Yuki Katayama, Shiori Doi, Shuhei Uesugi, Sumire, and Aoi Morikawa are also star in the film.
River’s Edge was selected as the one of the main programs to begin the evening during the Panorama section at the festival. It was selected as the winning “Panorama” prize by the International Critics Federation of Film Critics. It was the first time in eight years that a Japanese movie has won in this category.
Prize, Panorama: “River’s Edge” by Isao Yukisada (Japan, 2018, 118 min). Motivation: “The jury is acknowledging a narrative both unusual in its plotting and rewarding in its storyline. Shot in a tightly framed ratio, which reflects the squeezed existences of the main protaganists, his film reveals the problematic and often anxious existences of his characters, who are given generous on-screen time for the unfolding of their dark lives. Cruel, often bleak, and sometimes told to an unseen interviewer, their angst-ridden sufferings are developed in a manner which acknowledges their origins in manga comics while being presented with a wholly original cinematic eye which doesn’t flinch from violence and sex of a strongly graphic nature.”
Fumi Nikaido and and Ryo Yoshizawa both made an appearance at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival on February 23, 2018 in Germany.
After being awarded the prize, Ryo Yoshizawa commended “I’m very honored. The role of Yamada was very challenging and what I learned with this work will affect me during my future roles as an actor. I’m proud that River’s Edge won an award.”
River’s Edge is already available nationwide. It debuted on February 16, 2018 and was received well within just the first three days. It has already made over 24,440,3400円. Most of the viewer base that has been recorded has been between males and females from their 40s and 50s, with a radio of 6 women to 4 men.
Check out the official trailer here: