"More than the sum of its parts – S&M porn, coming-of-age film and dysfunctional family drama – Backwater suggests that just as times change, so can people." – Japan Times
Adapted from an award-winning novel and picking up a couple of prizes at the Locarno Film Festival, Backwater tells the story of 17-year-old Toma, who is coming to terms with his burgeoning adulthood while dealing with the violent sexual behaviour of his father. Afraid of turning out like his dad, Toma finds solace in the time he spends with his mother, and in his explorations with his girlfriend.
At times dark and unsettling, director Shinji Aoyama's (Sad Vacation, MIFF 2008) latest film draws on the traditions of Japan's critically acclaimed Nikkatsu studio to show how a culture's subjugation of women is a decimating symptom of misguided masculinity, as well as a powerful testament to the strength of the feminine.