First film from Japanese director KOJIMA Junji, ten years after his short film premiered in Berlinale. HOT ASHES arrives in Berlin fresh from the cutting table.
Lead actress Seiko Ando gives a tour de force performance. Shot after shot, she imposes an impressive onscreen presence in this raw, restless drama done in a documentary style realistic mode. She just doesn't get a break, but never gives up either.
Her husband forges art for a living and beats her for trying to work outside the conjugal home. Her young son mimics her husband's behavior and her mother-in-law's sanity slowly disintegrates as she treks to the cemetery everyday.
Unraveling like a grittier, bleaker and more intimate version of "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" transplanted to contemporary Japan, HOT ASHES is a gnawing film that worms under the skin.