Japanese period drama film “Wife of a Spy” will get a release in U.S. cinemas early in 2021 through distributor Kino Lorber. The film earned its creator Kurosawa Kiyoshi the silver lion as best director at the Venice festival in September.
The film reteams Kurosawa with actress Aoi Yu, who previously starred in his “Journey To The Shore” and episodic drama “Penance.” It also stars actor Takahashi Issey (“Kill Bill,” “Shin Godzilla”).
The thriller is set in Kobe, Japan in 1940 and tells the story of a Japanese actress whose wealthy husband witnesses government-approved human experiments while on a business trip to Manchuria. A mysterious woman who returns with him from the trip is murdered and life-changing consequences await them as the couple plot to smuggle evidence of the atrocities out of Japan. Meanwhile, the wife’s childhood friend, now a military policeman, is hot on their heels.
Kurosawa co-wrote the film with two of his former students, director Ryusuke Hamaguchi (“Happy Hour” and “Asako I & II”) and his writing partner Tadashi Nohara.
Rights were acquired from sales company Nikkatsu. Kino Lorber plans to release the film in Spring 2021, followed by a VOD release on Kino Now and through other home video outlets. The film was shot in 8K Super Hi-Vision, a technique developed by Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
“Kurosawa’s satisfying return to form is sure to delight his fans and win him new ones. The stunning cinematography, period sets and costumes, and historical backdrop are more than matched by the twisty intrigues of the plot,” said Kino Lorber’s senior VP Wendy Lidell.