Love and Other Cults


Directed by: Eiji Uchida
2017 / 94 minutes / Strictly 18+



Screened as part of JFF 2017

To say that Ai Shima has had a tough life is an understatement. Trapped in a series of cults and gangs throughout her formative years, Ai has never found her place in life. Throughout her many phases, the only person who understood her is another social outcast, Ryota (Kenta Suga).

Born in a small town in Japan, a young Ai (Sairi Ito) is sent to a cult commune by her religious maniac mother and lives there for seven long years.

After the cult was dissolved by the police, Ai starts a new stage of life. She attends a normal school for the first time, where she meets the quiet and aloof Ryota (Kenta Suga), who hangs out with wannabe gangsters outside of class. While it only seems natural to get involved with the yakuza, Ryota knows that there’s a way out if he cuts a path out for himself. But things are different for Ai—she drops out of school and trouble continues to follow her into deeper, more corrupted waters.

Love and Other Cults is a different kind of coming-of-age film. It portrays the lives of young people struggling in a place where there is no way out. Director and writer Eiji Uchida manages to pack a punch with this darkly comedic and gritty coming of age film, tackling social issues such as child neglect, teenage gangs and the sex industry.


The cast includes the talented Sairi Ito and Kenta Suga, who started as child actors, fast-rising newcomer Kaito Yoshimura, and some “real local delinquents” which created a unique situation in which the shooting took place under the local police’s supervision.

Join us for a special Q&A with director Eiji Uchida, lead actor Sairi Ito, and producer Adam Torel, at the Melbourne screening.
Audience warning: This film contains strong themes and depictions of sex, prostitution, youth delinquency and violence; moderate language and nudity; mild drug use.
Screens in:

Director: Eiji Uchida

Producer: Adam Torel

Co-executive Producer: Koji Fujii and Mikio Yamaguchi

Screenplay: Eiji Uchida

Cast: Sairi Ito, Kenta Suga, Antony, Kaito Yoshimura, Hanae Kan, Denden and Leona Hirota

Format: DCP colour