Presented by Japan Foundation

Quebec premiere
Selection 2021 On Demand

Under the Open Sky

Directed by Miwa Nishikawa

Virtual Screening


Official selection

Toronto International Film Festival 2020
Chicago International Film Festival 2020
American Film Institute 2020
Rome international film festival 2020
Seattle International Film Festival 2021


Chicago International Film Festival 2020 - Best International Feature Audience Choice Award, Silver Hugo - Best Performance Award

Seattle International Film Festival 2021 - Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision


Miwa Nishikawa


Miwa Nishikawa


Koji Yakusho, Meiko Kaji, Taiga Nakano


Norimichi Kasamatsu


Masaki Hayashi


GAGA Corporation

Japan 2021 126 mins OV Japanese Subtitles : English
Genre Drama

Masao Mikami, a former driver for the yakuza, has just spent 13 years behind bars. Determined to reintegrate into society, he discovers a snowed-in, hostile and changing Japan, which he struggles to recognize. Confronted with the coldness of the world – the open-air life to which the film's title refers – he begins his relentless process of rehabilitation as best he can. Searching for an apartment, applying for social assistance, renewing his expired driver's license... Nothing is easy, especially as a television station begins to take an interest in his case, at the risk of rekindling his dangerous connection with organized crime at any moment.

Adapted from the novel by Ryuzo Saki (VENGEANCE IS MINE), Miwa Nishikawa's (THE LONG EXCUSE) gripping UNDER THE OPEN SKY features Koji Yakusho (CURE, TOKYO SONATA, THE EEL) in one of his most moving roles – and that's saying something. The actor inscribes his character's resentment, sorrow and dull pain into a tormented but upright body, in a remarkable performance as an ageing actor. Nishikawa, a notorious protégé of Hirokazu Kore-eda, returns here to the theme of broken men, and demonstrates a formidable flexibility of tone, allowing her drama to veer towards comedy or even thriller with grace and elegance. With its warm and studious direction, which doesn't shy away from touches of sentimentality, UNDER THE OPEN SKY goes straight to the heart and lays bare the otherwise invisible workings of Japanese society, through a very revealing film about a repentant yakuza. – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg