Yureru/Sway/ゆれる

Synopsis:must-see-foreign-films-sway

One day Takeru Hayakawa (Jo Odagiri), a successful fashionable Tokyo fashion photographer, hears his mother has passed away. Returning to his hometown in his vintage car, he arrives late and unsuited for his mother’s memorial service. At the dining table later that day – partly because of Takera’s rude and late arrival at the service – the sour relationship between Takeru and his father Isamu Hayakawa (Masatô Ibu) comes to the surface. Before the situation can escalate and end in a scuffle, Takeru’s older brother Minoru Hayakawa (Teruyuki Kagawa) quickly intervenes and appease the emotions.

In the later conversations between Minoru – the son who stayed home and accepted his father’s wish to run the family business i.e. the rundown garage – and Takeru – the one who fled the misery of his small hometown and family, it becomes clear that the relation between them is not that good either. In the first conversation they have Minoru reveals that Takeru’s ex-girlfriend Chieko Kawabata (Yôko Maki) works at the garage as a gas attendant and in spite of Takeru insinuating a possible marriage between the two, he nevertheless ends up with her in bed. Chieko, who dreams of a better life in Tokyo, suggests Takeru to take her with him to Tokyo. He ignores her and leaves her apartment before dawn breaks.

The next day Minoru, Takeru and Chie go out on a trip to a nearby forest. Chie repeats her question and her desire to leave her hometown with Takeru. Again Takeru ignores her and even distances himself from Chieko and leaving her with Minoru alone, thereby leaving room for Minoru to reach out.

Whilst Takeru wanders around on the flanks of the forested mountain to take photographs, Chieko decides to follow him. At the shore he sees the suspension bridge he crossed some minutes ago. He sees Chieko crossing the bridge. Suddenly she stumbles and Minoru, who has followed her, tries to catch her. A few moments later, Chieko’s body is floating downstream. Soon Minoru is arrested for murder. Nevertheless the following questions arises: what happened on the bridge? Was it an accident? Did Minoru commit a murder? But the most important question is: What did Takeru see from his vantage point?

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