Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Noted filmmaker Jun Ichikawa directs this elegiac semi-documentary look at cancer and death. The film focuses on five terminal cancer patients, all of whom are being treated in the same hospital by the same doctor (Ittoku Kishibe). Filmed with a fractured, episodic structure, Byoin quietly depicts the movie's characters as they try to make sense of their waning existences. At one point an elderly couple, both dying from cancer, see each other for the last time. In another, a middle-aged salaryman demands that his doctor tell him honestly whether or not he has cancer. True to common practice, the doctor prefers to keep his patient in the dark about his condition.