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Koichi Sato deeply emotional at “TERMINAL” TIFF closing screening—”I’m honored to have brought such a quintessentially Japanese film”


©2015 TIFF

The film TERMINAL, based on a novel by Naoki Prize-winner Shino Sakuragi and starring Koichi Sato and Tsubasa Honda, was shown on October 31 as the closing screening of the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival. Stars Sato and Honda were joined by co-star Machiko Ono and director Tetsuo Shinohara to present the film at Tokyo TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills.
With his face filled with emotion, Sato said, “I’m very honored to be able to have brought such a quintessentially Japanese film like Terminal.” The actor has made a total of six appearances at the Tokyo International Film Festival, and won the award for best leading actor in 2006 for his role in “What the Snow Brings”. “Each time I participate in the film festival it is always more gorgeous than the last,” he spoke deeply, “Films are at the center of the festival, and with people gathering together to talk about them, you can really feel that the circle of people who watch films is growing wider. There is nothing happier than that.”
It was Honda’s first time at the TIFF, and she spoke nervously. “This is my first time standing in a place like this, and I can’t think of anything clever to say…” A smiling Sato comforted her with words from nearby, giving a glimpse into their friendly relationship.
Ono, who plays the ex-lover haunting Sato’s character Kanji Washida, said with a respectful bow to her predecessor, “Just as in the film, I think my life has been changed by Sato.” When she read the script, “I got the feeling that this film has in it all the things that Japanese films are losing nowadays.” She spoke with a pride about the final product, “When I heard that Shinohara was the director, I felt with certainty that this would be a film that comes to represent Japan.”
Sato reflected on his character Washida, who resides in Kushiro as part of punishment for a tragedy that occurred 25 years ago, “Sins remain in our hearts. I approached the role by always thinking about how one would go about living while carrying that with them.”
Shinohara spoke of his gratitude at having the film chosen as the closing screening for the film festival. “This film is about the starting point and the terminus, and about how to begin travelling from that terminal point. It depicts a place very deep within us,” he said. “It shows how people can start their lives over, and it has the very fine, nuanced emotions that so characterize Japanese films. I’d like it to be an opportunity to look back on our lives.”
Set in Hokkaido’s Kushiro, TERMINAL depicts the tale of Kanji Washida (Sato), a lawyer tormented by his role in the death of the woman he loved, who finds solace together with his client Atsuko Shiina (Honda), a woman who carries a secret. The film has been screened at theaters nationwide from November 7.

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KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
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