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JFF21: Under The Open Sky

15+ 126 MIN
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Life behind bars has hardened ex-yakuza Mikami (Kōji Yakusho). Released after his 13-year murder sentence, feeling overlooked and desperate for independence, he sets out to tell his story and find his long-lost mother by teaming up with young TV director Tsunoda.

Mikami’s brash attitude and altercations with the outside world provide plenty of drama for Tsunoda’s project, but friction grows behind the scenes. Returning to society tests Mikami’s patience, and reveals his skewed version of justice.

Yakusho’s (The Blood of Wolves and The Third Murder, JFF 2018) Silver Hugo winning performance is his career best, with compelling depth and inner torment supported by cast members Taiga Nakano and Masami Nagasawa (Masquerade Hotel, JFF 2019).
Under the Open Sky is director Miwa Nishikawa’s first foray into adaptation (Ryūzō Saki’s novel Mibunchо̄), and muses on ruptures in society and deep vulnerabilities. After apprenticing under Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters), Nishikawa has established a reputation for sophisticated and insightful dramas, including JFF 2016’s audience favourite, The Long Excuse.


Koji Yakusho was awarded a Silver Hugo for Best Performance at the Chicago International Film Festival 2020

Awarded Chicago International Film Festival’s Best International Feature Audience Choice Award 2020

Movie Information

Release date

Thursday 28th October


126 min




Taiga Nakano, Masami Nagasawa, Kōji Yakusho


Miwa Nishikawa


Film Festival

Participating Cinemas

Palace Barracks, Palace Norton St, Palace Verona, Palace Electric, Kino Cinema, Palace Raine Square