Tetsuya Nakashima’s ‘Confessions’
Confessions (Kokuhaku) is another example to the world that the Far East has taken revenge cinema to a whole new level over the past decade. Following in the elaborate vengeful footsteps of Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, Confessions sees a teacher exact her punishment on the two pupils responsible for the death of her daughter.
A syringe filled with AIDS infected blood is the unusual weapon of choice used to taint the milk of the guilty. With everyone having received their daily dose of calcium she calmly breaks the news to the unknowing class.
However, the sweeping of four awards at the 34th Japanese Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director) as well as making the nine film shortlist for the ever competitive Best Foreign Film category at this year’s Oscars suggests there is more than purely dodgy dairy products and classroom disharmony on display.
Writer and director Tetsuya Nakashima has had little success with previous films Kamikaze Girls and Memories of Matsuko in his attempts to breach the Western market. Both only managed a handful of screenings in festivals and independent cinemas across Europe and North America before promptly making their way via DVD release to the dimly lit World Cinema aisle.