A bus-jacking sets the scene for an exploration of relationship between the three survivors; bus driver Koji Yakusho and teenage passengers Aoi and Masaru Miyazaki, as each attempts to cope with the aftermath of the tragedy.
Surprisingly little happens in the near four hours that separate a busjacking and the unmasking of a serial killer. Yet Shinji Aoyama's meticulously-paced treatise on pain, guilt and the globalisation of the everyday is full of insights into human nature and the numbing down of emotion.
Inspired by John Ford's The Searchers, the relationship between bus driver Koji Yakusho and teenage passengers Aoi and Masaru Miyazaki is tantamount to a ghost story for survivors, as each attempts to cope with his/her ordeal.
Shot in CinemaScope, but printed on monochrome stock, Masaki Tamra's imagery is as controlled as his director's exemplary sense of time and space. Part psychodrama, part road movie, this deserves your fullest attention.
A skilful and strikingly shot blend of human drama with traces of thriller and road movie in a (very) long exploration of survivor-guilt.