A Girl Missing

Directed by Koji Fukada
Film Movement
2019
112 Minutes
Japan, France
Japanese
Thriller, Drama, Asian
NR

Koji Fukada's followup to the critically-acclaimed HARMONIUM (also available from Film Movement), A GIRL MISSING “is a satisfying slow-burn drama expertly told” (Screen Daily). Ichiko is a private home-nurse who has worked for the elder matriarch of the Oishos for years and regards them as her own family. Ichiko's quiet, routine life is shattered when a young member of the Oishos clan is kidnapped. When it is revealed that the kidnapper is none other than Ichiko’s nephew, her life begins to unravel in this taut thriller from one of Japan’s current cinematic masters.

Director & Cast

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Reviews

  • "A deft and absorbing multi-pronged tale about a kind, hard-working woman whose life becomes a morass of collateral damage, A Girl Missing is a satisfying slow-burn drama expertly told."
    Lisa Nesselson, Screen Daily
  • "Reuniting with his Harmonium (2016) lead Mariko Tsutsui, Fukada creates another emotionally palpable tale about perspective. Expertly acted and with a dual-pronged narrative as equally well choreographed...."
    Nicholas Bell, Ion Cinema
  • "Much like his Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner, A Girl Missing unspools as a revenge drama homing in on people paying a price for their kindness, a tale of family disequilibrium with Mariko Tsutsui–already seen in Harmonium–serving as a magnetic lead."
    Leonardo Goi, The Film Stage
  • "[Koji Fukada] gives his actors space to create wordless moments that speak eloquently."
    Mark Schilling, Japan Times
  • "Fukada’s film is mad but wildly engrossing, imagining a cruel world where unrequited love plus time makes for a fatal sum."
    Elena Lazic, Cinema Scope
  • "After his wonderful hits “Hospitalite” and “Harmonium”, Japanese award-winning filmmaker Kôji Fukada returns to the family-crisis field with this sensitive, perceptive, yet bizarre modern take on the power of defamatory words. [T]he film is a gripping, shocking dramatic thriller, a satisfying and unique observation on two dysfunctional families, with an unforgettable, controversial performance by Mariko Tsutsui."
    Roger Costa, Brazilian Press
  • "One of the film’s many pleasures lies in Fukada’s specific rhythms of the mysteries of storytelling, offering little clues along the way but keeping more of a focus on his lead character and her emotional wavelength."
    Jordan Raup, The Film Stage
  • "There’s no denying the seductive powers of A Girl Missing, which gestures at the rot beneath the surface of politesse in the way Japanese society deals with criminality and taboo. "
    Beatrice Loayza, AV Club
  • "Lead Mariko Tsutsui (also of Harmonium) is haunted here, delivering a performance that's affecting even when we're in the dark about what her character is thinking. "
    John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
  • "[A] steadily absorbing crime thriller with at least two satisfying twists. "
    Kent Turner, Film-Forward
  • "Fukada has delivered another subtle, startling and demanding drama about lives upended in a country that rarely gives us any hint this sort of thing happens, a film built on stoic performances that give up their reserve when the worst kind of pressure is applied."
    Roger Moore, Movie Nation
Nominated
Golden Leopard
Locarno Film Festival
Nominated
Gold Hugo
Chicago Int'l. Film Festival
Official Selection
Toronto Int'l. Film Festival
Official Selection
New York Film Festival