Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Himatsuri is based on a real life tragedy, in which a Japanese man inexplicably slaughtered his family and then killed himself. Kinya Kitaoji plays the thoroughly self-centered "protagonist," who does what he pleases no matter who he hurts. No one dares question Kitaoji due to his blasting-cap temperament. The only thing Kitaoji holds sacred is the land around him, but he's willing to destroy even that to have his own way. He befouls a lake that is sacred to the Shinto religion, spilling oil into the waters rather than letting them fall into the hands of land speculators. Suddenly experiencing a religious awakening, Kitaoji decides to "atone" -- by murdering his family, then committing suicide. No explanations are offered by director Kenji Nakagami: one takes what one wishes from Himatsuri. The film was released to some English-speaking markets as Fire Festival.
family, lake, murder/suicide, zealot