The Long Excuse (永い言い訳)
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The Long Excuse (永い言い訳)
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© 2016 "The Long Excuse" Film’s Partners

The transformative power of empathy in a time of mourning


Celebrity author Sachio and his supportive wife Natsuko have an amicable marriage that lacks passion. While Natsuko dies in a bus accident, Sachio is in bed with a younger woman. Forced to play the role of a grieving widower in front of media, he is more shocked by his emotional disconnect to her death. Unable to muster any genuine sadness for his wife’s passing, he’s at a loss for how to proceed with his life.

Eventually he meets Yoichi, whose wife perished in the same bus accident. Unlike Sachio, Yoichi is devastated and in denial. For unfathomable reasons Sachio volunteers to help take care of Yoichi’s children while their father is out working long hours as a truck driver.

The Long Excuse is a touching drama that closely follows its characters and their transformation, prompted by empathy and death. Director Miwa Nishikawa, who was mentored by Hirokazu Kore-eda (After the Storm), beautifully orchestrates joy and sadness, creating a film that is emotional but never overbearing. Featuring stellar acting by Masahiro Motoki (Departures) as Sachio and Pistol Takehara as Yoichi.

Year: 2016
Length: 124 mins
Classification rating: Under 15s must be accompanied by an adult. (Contains theme of adultery; mild sexual content, language and violence.)

In Japanese with English subtitles.

Part of JFF Fringe 2018 special screenings in Sydney and Brisbane. Catch Japanese films on the big screen with the limited season JFF Fringe specials. Presented in partnership with Event Cinemas.



  • Director
    Miwa Nishikawa/
  • Producer
    Asako Nishikawa/ Akihiko Yose/
  • Screenplay and original story
    Miwa Nishikawa/
  • Cast
    Masahiro Motoki/ Pistol Takehara/ Sousuke Ikematsu/ Haru Kuroki/ Kenshin Fujita/ Tamaki Shiratori/ Keiko Horiuchi/ Eri Fukatsu/