Two 15-year-old classmates constantly brush against a snowballing heap of family violence and money problems in Sion Sono‘s 2011 Himizu. A tense vision of youth under fire. The synopsis can be read as follows (via TIFF):

“A rare film that evokes our present-day atmosphere with surprising immediacy, Himizu is the latest work from Sion Sono, Japanese master of extreme cinema.

While working on Himizu, his adaptation of Furuya Minoru’s manga of the same name, Sono was confronted with the devastation of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and its consequent atomic accidents, prompting him to weave actuality into the complex tap­estry of his imagination.

“Don’t give up.” The constant refrain repeated in radio and television programmes to a nation hit by the merciless catastrophe sounds even more ominous when written in a note left by Yuichi Sumida’s mother after running off with her lover. At fifteen, Sumida (Shôta Sometani) is left alone to manage the family’s languishing boat-rental business and fend off his drunk and penniless father’s bouts of violence. Sumida sees his simple dream for an ordinary future rapidly evaporating before his eyes. Sharing similarly humble but fading dreams is his classmate Keiko Chazawa (Fumi Nikaidou), who also happens to have a major crush on him, even though Sumida seems deeply annoyed by her presence.

When Sumida’s father shows up one night and, for the hundredth time, curses his son for being born — wishing him dead so he can collect on his life insurance — the young boy can no longer contain his repressed anger.

Guided by Sono’s capable direction, Sometani and Nikaidou give visceral perfor­mances as lost youth facing a terrible reality, bringing to life the film’s ghastly beauty. A dark masterpiece, Himizu unleashes powerful content and impeccable style. It is destined to dwell in the viewer’s memory for a long time to come.”

Watch the trailer embedded down below (sorry, no english subtitles):