Hikari no Ame (2001)

  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Based on a controversial book by Wahei Tachimatsu, this film -- directed by Banmei Takahashi -- details the horrific true-life account of radicalism run amok. The film opens with a film producer (Sansei Shiomi) letting an up-and-coming director named Anan (Masato Hagiwara) make a behind-the-scenes documentary about a film called "Hikari no Ame," which concerns the murder of 14 sect members of a Red Army splinter group. As Anan starts interviewing the cast and crew, he learns that while most of the actors have little idea about who the Red Army were and what they espoused, the movie's fifty-something director Tarumi (Ren Osugi) is more closely related to the incident than he lets on. As the shoot proceeds, the actors start to identify more and more closely with the characters, sometimes refusing to break out of their role after the director yells "Cut." Tarumi recounts how two radical groups meet in a mountain forest during the winter to prepare to do battle with bourgeois society, which includes a brutal regime of self-criticism. When two members -- a woman who chafes under the group's rigid conformism and a guy who wants to write a book -- try to escape, they are caught and executed. The leader, Tetsutaro Kurashige (Taro Yamamoto), moves the group deeper into the hills, but this event lays the seeds of paranoia. Soon more blood is spilt.