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Japan, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Regional Focus)

Director: Shinji Aoyama

Winner of the International Critics Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Eureka is an extremely powerful film that examines the effects of the brutal hijacking of a provincial bus in provincial Japan. Only three people survive: the driver, a schoolgirl and her older brother. Suffering from trauma, the driver disappears. The children withdraw in silence. Two years later, their mother has divorced and their father dies at the wheel of his car. At the same time, the bus driver unexpectedly turns up at their house and is suspected of their father's murder. Converting an old minibus, he takes the children on a journey, leaving from the scene of the hijack and progressing down the coast. The healing process begins.

"Aoyama's examination is undoubtedly exceptional. Eureka's power comes from an acute observation of its leading characters, its psychological truth and that, visually, it is greatly influenced by the films of John Ford. Masaki Tamura's widescreen images, filmed on colour stock but printed in black and white, give an extraordinarily eloquent impression of Japan's largely unpopulated countryside. Above all, Aoyama's control is absolute and his cast responds magnificently. This is an odyssey that is difficult to forget."—Screen International

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