Sunday, July 5, 2015
North American Premiere
Published as a three-volume novel in 2013, Solomon’s Perjury is Miyabe Miyuki's most ambitious work to date. The author, who writes books in the detective, fantasy, and science-fiction genres, is known for her portrayals of powerless women—housewives, prostitutes, bankruptcy victims. For Solomon’s Perjury, she turned to another underclass: children. A 14-year-old boy is found dead, buried under the snow outside his high school. Police and teachers are quick to dismiss the case as suicide, despite an anonymous letter claiming that the boy was murdered. A group of the boy’s classmates, led by the fearless Ryoko Fujino, push back against their teachers, their parents, and the police to stage their own mock trial to discover the truth. The Japanese film industry can sometimes dumb down its most ambitious projects, but while the choice of Izuru Narushima as director is predictable, what’s surprising is that he gets to tell his tale of guilt, shame, and redemption with intelligence and a lack of sensationalism. This exhilarating first part of the film leads up to the eve of the trial, in which the students will play the roles of judge, jury, and prosecution and defence councils.