January 26, 2018
New movie The Scythian Lamb is set for release throughout Japan on February 3, 2018. The film is produced by Asmik Ace, a group company of Sumitomo Corporation.
The Scythian Lamb is an unsettling but realistic thriller set in a rural Japanese town near Uobuka City. When six convicted murderers newly released from prison move to the area under a local government program, the new residents bring with them an ominous atmosphere that slowly but steadily begins to grips the peaceful town. Through a mix of dark humor, conflict and romance, along with its fair share of heart-stopping moments, the film depicts the eerie way in which the newcomers disturb the lives of the townspeople as the story unfolds in an unexpected way toward its thrilling climax.
The star-studded cast includes Ryo Nishikido in the leading role of city official, Fumino Kimura and Ryuhei Matsuda. The director is Daihachi Yoshida, a multiple award-winning Japanese filmmaker whose major works include The Kirishima Thing (2012, winner of the Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year and Director of the Year) and Pale Moon (2014, nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Director of the Year). The Scythian Lamb, his latest offering, is a live-action adaption of the manga Hitsuji no Ki (The Sheep Tree). In it, Yoshida successfully showcases his distinctive originality while maintaining the setting and mood of the original story.
Yoshida spoke about his new work in relation to his artistic exploration of unanswerable questions. "I wanted to tell a story about how people trust, distrust and embrace others, using an unusual setting," he explains. "In pursuing this theme, I am exploring essential questions about humanity that elude vigorous investigation."
The ex-convicts are "aliens" that effect odd yet seemingly unnoticeable changes to the usual life of the town. How do the people deal with the issue of living with these aliens? Do they accept them or reject them? To find out, we invite you to go and see this blackly humored suspense-filled thriller, which asks essential if elusive questions about being human.
The Scythian Lamb has a strong and distinctive cast. It won a prize at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival.
The camera often zooms in on subtle yet telling facial expressions.
Friendship and romance with ex-convicts provide key plotlines.