Border Line

  • Film
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Three storylines interweave in Korean-Japanese director Lee's debut feature, but there's no clever-clever dovetailed plotting. Loudmouthed cabbie Kurosawa (Murakami) finds himself taking a taciturn young man (Sawaki) halfway across Japan after accidentally knocking him off his bike; on the road it dawns that the kid has murdered his father. A housewife (Aso) takes a McJob in a convenience store in a desperate attempt to hold her family together; her husband has been laid off and her son is so frightened of bullies at school he throws up in the car. And a yakuza debt collector (Mitsuishi) faces the prospect of killing his own partner when some misappropriations of cash come to light. The narrative threads are less important than the accumulation of telling detail, which adds up to a panorama of a society falling apart at the seams. Maintaining a semi-detached empathy with the characters, Lee suggests that the disintegration of the family is at the root of the problems. The all-star cast worked for peanuts because they loved the script; and the young director marshals the ensemble with such skill you'd think he'd been doing it for years.

Release details

Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Lee Sang-Il
Screenwriter: Lee Sang-Il, Hajime Matsuura
Cast: Tetsu Sawaki
Ayaka Maeda
Jun Murakami
Yumi Aso
Ken Mitsuishi
Kanako Fukaura
Yoshiyuki Morishita