Winner Best Screenplay 2023 Cannes Film Festival
Acclaimed Japanese auteur Kore-eda Hirokazu (Broker, Perth Festival 2023 and Shoplifters, Perth Festival 2019) has built up a fascinating, prolific career exploring universal human impulses through the lens of fractured and makeshift families. In his latest lauded film, 11-year-old Minato has been acting strangely since his dad’s death: drastically cutting his hair, leaping from a moving car, claiming his brain has been replaced with a pig’s. When he comes home from school injured, his mum Saori is convinced something more sinister is at play and sets out on a relentless campaign to expose Minato’s teacher, Hori, as the culprit victimising her son. In turn, Hori claims Minato is a bully. But Minato has his own perspective, focused on his new friend, with troubles of his own. Looking at the story from various points of view, reality changes and the actual subject becomes the hidden friendship between Minato and his schoolmates, often bullied by other kids.
A great storyteller of family dynamics, Kore-eda shows once again his unique ability to depict the inner world of children, unveiling uncomfortable realities with a natural and necessary tenderness. A milestone in his impressive body of work, Monster is marked by two major collaborations – one with co-screenwriter Sakamoto Yûji, and the other with the legendary musician Sakamoto Ryuichi (see Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus), who died last March, Monster being his last soundtrack.
Awarded Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at Cannes, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s tender answer to the question ‘Who’s the monster?’ will melt your heart.