Japanese Film Festival | Satellite
Female Directors, Festival Award Winners, Gangsters & Outliers

Under the Open Sky


Year: 2021

Length: 126 minutes

Classification rating: Unclassified 15+

Screens in: Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney

Official website

Old (yakuza) habits die hard

Life behind bars has hardened ex-yakuza Mikami (Kōji Yakusho). Released after his 13-year murder sentence, feeling overlooked and desperate for independence, he sets out to tell his story and find his long-lost mother by teaming up with young TV director Tsunoda.

Mikami’s brash attitude and altercations with the outside world provide plenty of drama for Tsunoda’s project, but friction grows behind the scenes. Returning to society tests Mikami’s patience, and reveals his skewed version of justice.

Yakusho’s (The Blood of Wolves and The Third Murder, JFF 2018) Silver Hugo winning performance is his career best, with compelling depth and inner torment supported by cast members Taiga Nakano and Masami Nagasawa (Masquerade Hotel, JFF 2019).

Under the Open Sky is director Miwa Nishikawa’s first foray into adaptation (Ryūzō Saki’s novel Mibunchо̄), and muses on ruptures in society and deep vulnerabilities. After apprenticing under Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters), Nishikawa has established a reputation for sophisticated and insightful dramas, including JFF 2016’s audience favourite, The Long Excuse.

2020 Chicago International Film Festival - Winner of the Silver Hugo Award for Best Performance by Koji Yakusho

2020 Chicago International Film Festival - Winner of the Best International Feature Film’s Audience Choice Award
Audience warning: Contains violence and drug use

Sunday 31st October

Palace Electric, Canberra

Sold out

Sunday 7th November

Palace Raine Square, Perth

Selling fast

Sunday 14th November

Palace Barracks, Brisbane

Thursday 18th November

Palace Barracks, Brisbane

Wednesday 24th November

The Kino, Melbourne

Saturday 27th November

The Kino, Melbourne

Selling fast

Friday 26th November

Palace Verona, Sydney

Selling fast

Thursday 2nd December

Palace Norton Street, Sydney


Cast: Miwa Nishikawa

Cast: Kōji Yakusho, Taiga Nakano and Masami Nagasawa

Based on: Ryūzō Saki’s novel Mibunchо̄

Genre: Drama

Category: Female Directors, Festival Award Winners, Gangsters & Outliers

Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles