The Lovers sacrificed, the gift of spies

CRITICAL – Through the story of a couple in the midst of World War II, Kiyoshi Kurosawa makes his first foray into historical film. Which earned him the Silver Lion in Venice in 2020.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa has neither the aura nor the genius of his illustrious namesake, Akira Kurosawa. But the Japanese filmmaker born in 1955 has behind him a solid reputation as a specialist in the strange and the fantastic (Charisma, Kairo, Jellyfish, Tokyo Sonata). These are other ghosts that he films in The sacrificed lovers, spy melody against the backdrop of World War II, silver lion for best director in Venice in 2020. This first foray into historical film, Kurosawa owes it to two of his former students at the Tokyo University of the Arts, Tadashi Nohara and Ryusuke Hamaguchi. The latter has become in five years and a handful of films (Senses, Asako I and II, the superb Drive My Car, screenplay prize at Cannes) a recognized author.

There is something of Modiano in the way of blurring the lines, of staging pretenses, of making the actions of the protagonists opaque.

The sacrificed lovers is akin to a variation on his favorite theme: the couple. In Kobe in 1941, Yusaku and his wife Satoko seem to spin the perfect love and ignore the violence of the story. They continue to dress in the West

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