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Penance II (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Koizumi Kyoko (Actor) | Ikewaki Chizuru (Actor) | Koike Eiko (Actor) | Aoi Yu (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

The murder of a child destroys the lives of five women in Penance, a television mini-series written and directed by acclaimed Japanese director Kurosawa Kiyoshi (Pulse, Tokyo Sonata). Based on the novel by Minato Kanae (Confessions), the dark, brooding mystery drama is about four women who witnessed the murder of their classmate as a young child and the lengths they would go to redeem themselves in the eyes of the murdered girl's mother. In addition to Koizumi Kyoko (Tokyo Sonata) starring as the vengeful mother, Penance also features Aoi Yu (Rurouni Kenshin), Koike Keiko (20th Century Boys), Ando Sakura (For Love's Sake), Ikewaki Chizuru (In His Charts), Kase Ryo (Outrage), Moriyama Mirai (Love Strikes) and Kagawa Teruyuki (Key of Life). In addition to a five-week run on cable network WOWOW, Penance was also screened at the Venice International Film Festival and the Pusan Film Festival.

In a small countryside town, a young girl named Emili is abducted and brutally murdered. The last people to see her alive were classmates Sae, Maki, Akiko and Yuka. All four of them saw the killer's face, but were all too scared to admit so. Soon after, Emili's mother Asako (Koiuzmi Kyoko) forces the girls to either find the killer or find a way to redeem themselves in her eyes. The girls eventually become women, but none of them have forgotten their promise to Asako. In each episode, we see how each of the four women finds their own way to live up to the promise – and how they come to destroy their own lives in the process.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Penance II (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 贖罪2 (DVD) (香港版) 赎罪2 (DVD) (香港版) Penance II (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Penance II (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Koizumi Kyoko (Actor) | Ikewaki Chizuru (Actor) | Koike Eiko (Actor) | Aoi Yu (Actor) | Ando Sakura (Actor) | Ito Ayumi (Actor) | Kase Ryo (Actor) | Moriyama Mirai (Actor) | Kagawa Teruyuki (Actor) | Arai Hirofumi (Actor) | Mizuhashi Kenji (Actor) | Tanaka Tetsushi (Actor) | Shimada Kyusaku (Actor) 小泉今日子 (Actor) | 池脇千鶴 (Actor) | 小池榮子 (Actor) | 蒼井優 (Actor) | 安藤櫻 (Actor) | 伊藤步 (Actor) | 加瀨亮 (Actor) | 森山未來 (Actor) | 香川照之 (Actor) | 新井浩文 (Actor) | 水橋研二 (Actor) | 田中哲司 (Actor) | 嶋田久作 (Actor) 小泉今日子 (Actor) | 池脇千鹤 (Actor) | 小池荣子 (Actor) | 苍井优 (Actor) | 安藤樱 (Actor) | 伊藤步 (Actor) | 加濑亮 (Actor) | 森山未来 (Actor) | 香川照之 (Actor) | 新井浩文 (Actor) | 水桥研二 (Actor) | 田中哲司 (Actor) | 嶋田久作 (Actor) 小泉今日子 (Actor) | 池脇千鶴 (Actor) | 小池栄子 (Actor) | 蒼井優 (Actor) | 安藤サクラ (Actor) | 伊藤歩 (Actor) | 加瀬亮 (Actor) | 森山未來 (Actor) | 香川照之 (Actor) | 新井浩文 (Actor) | Mizuhashi Kenji (Actor) | 田中哲司 (Actor) | 嶋田久作 (Actor) Koizumi Kyoko (Actor) | Ikewaki Chizuru (Actor) | Koike Eiko (Actor) | Aoi Yu (Actor) | Ando Sakura (Actor) | Ito Ayumi (Actor) | 카세 료 (Actor) | Moriyama Mirai (Actor) | Kagawa Teruyuki (Actor) | Arai Hirofumi (Actor) | Mizuhashi Kenji (Actor) | Tanaka Tetsushi (Actor) | Shimada Kyusaku (Actor)
Director: Kurosawa Kiyoshi 黑澤清 黑泽清 黒沢清 Kurosawa Kiyoshi
Writer: Minato Kanae 湊佳苗 凑佳苗 湊かなえ/著 Minato Kanae
Release Date: 2013-07-09
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 124 (mins)
Publisher: Edko Films Ltd. (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1033700804

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Trailer
- Photo Gallery

PENANCE is a psycho-thriller examining the far-reaching aftereffects of a little girl’s murder. An adaptation of the novel by Kanae Minateo (who also penned the source material for the box office hit “Confessions”), PENANCE tells the story of Asako whose daughter Emili was brutally murdered while in elementary school. Emili’s four best friends all saw the face of the killer, but each insisted that they could not remember it. Fifteen years later, the crime remains unsolved, and the vengeful Asako is determined to make the girls pay for their reticence. The four little girls have now grown up to become disturbed young women….
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Penance II (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

August 26, 2013

This professional review refers to Penance I (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Japanese master of quiet suspense and disquieting unease Kurosawa Kiyoshi returns with Penance an adaptation of the 2009 novel Shokuzai by Confessions author Minato Kanae. Though it similarly deals with the murder of a child, the five-part television series is a very different affair, focusing more on the effects of the crime on those involved, primarily the mother and a group of witnesses. Having premiered on television in early 2012, the series was then shown in Japanese cinemas in a complete five hour feature version, and has since been screened at a variety of international festivals including Busan and Venice, to considerable acclaim.

The film starts off in a small Japanese town with the killing of a young schoolgirl called Emili, who is snatched by a stranger while four of her friends look on and do nothing. After the girls fail to aid the police, Emili's mother Asako (Koizumi Kyoko, also in the director's masterful Tokyo Sonata) tells them that she will never forget or forgive their transgression until either they have either tracked down the murderer or paid a penance that she approves.

Skip forward 15 years, and the four girls are now damaged young women with serious issues, an episode being dedicated to each of their troubled lives, beginning with "French Doll" in which the beautiful though cold Sae (Aoi Yu, Rurouni Kenshin) attracts the attention of an odd suitor (Moriyama Mirai, Love Strikes) with a link to her past. Following this, overly strict schoolteacher Maki (Koike Keiko, 20th Century Boys) discovers her violent side while confronting an attacker in "Emergency PTA Meeting" and the disturbed Akiko (Ando Sakura, For Love's Sake) retreats into her own bizarre world in "Brother and Sister Bear," Asako turning up to visit the women and remind them of their promise. The fourth girl, the amoral and calculating Yuka (Ikewaki Chizuru, In His Charts) manages to turn the tables on Asako while chasing after her sister's policeman husband, setting up the final chapter "Atonement" in which the full scale of the grim tragedy that has destroyed so many lives is revealed.

Whether working in the horror genre or not, no one does ominous dread quite like Kurosawa Kiyoshi, and Penance is a tense and gripping affair throughout. Despite the five hour running time, the series (which has been released on two DVDs in Hong Kong) never feels too long, and is surprisingly easy to get through in one sitting ?and indeed arguably performs better this way. As a mystery it works very well, precisely due to Kurosawa underplaying the central question as to who the murderer is, focusing instead on the psychological damage suffered by the four girls and the ways in which their lives have been shaped and destroyed by the incident. As such, the first four parts are actually better than the more predictable and straightforward final wrap up, ranging from profoundly creepy chills through to moments of surrealism and off-kilter laughter. Each episode dealing with a different take on penance and redemption, the overall effect is a thoughtful and grim meditation on passive/aggressive revenge, covering some very grim territory indeed and exploring the dark shadow of modern Japanese society. Though there are inevitably some similarities with Confessions primarily in terms of basic setup, Penance takes a very different path and tone, and while neither offer easy answers, its final notes are perhaps even bleaker.

Kurosawa is a meticulous director with a fantastic eye for finding menace and suspense in seemingly dull, everyday life situations, and his detached yet voyeuristic camera gives each of the episodes a sinister look and feel. Though quiet and devoid of either scares or blood, the series manages to shock and disturb, partly through the inherent direness of the situation, and partly through some excellent character development. While, quite deliberately, the viewer is never made to particularly like or care for any of the four girls, all are richly detailed and fascinating figures, making their fates and self-destruction truly absorbing to watch, bolstered by excellent performances by the female cast. Knowing that things are unlikely to work out well for any of them and meditating on whether or not they deserve their so-called penances or indeed whether they are to blame themselves adds another dimension. With Kurosawa offering no judgements, the viewer to an extent is left to draw their own conclusions as to blame, leading to an overall air of hopelessness and moral confusion.

Penance certainly isn't a fun or easy proposition, though it's an incredibly accomplished and riveting watch, whether approached as a television series or five hour feature. Kurosawa Kiyoshi is unquestionably one of the most talented and unique directors working in Japan at the moment, and the film is another fine addition to his already very impressive CV.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

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This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

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