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VIFF mainstay Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters) returns, this time to take on the discussion of homophobia. The critique he offers is piercing and poignant. After decades of gems from the director, we’d expect nothing less. What’s fresh and provocative about his latest work—besides a beautiful final score from the late Ryuichi Sakamoto—are its twists and turns. At first, Monster appears to be the story of a boy named Minato (Soya Kurokawa) and the abuse he faces at the hands of his school teacher Mr. Hori (Eita Nagayama), but as the film explores the same events through different perspectives, notions of blame get scrambled in what might be described as a moral mystery tale. What makes him one of our greatest living directors is his ability to fuse elements that are often at odds in cinema. His work is both cerebral and deeply moving, both rich in characterization and marked by a sense of the unknowable. Best of all, like all the finest entertainers, the man knows how to challenge a wide audience without alienating it: Monster is as rewarding as it is complex.


Best Screenplay, Cannes 2023


Supported by



Sakura Ando, Eita Nagayama, Soya Kurokawa, Hinata Hiiragi, Mitsuki Takahata

Country of Origin





Special Presentations


In Japanese with English subtitles

Film Contact
Content Warning

Gender or Sexual Discrimination

126 min
Action & Suspense Drama LGBTQIA2S+

Book Tickets

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Executive Producer

Minami Ichikawa, Toru Oota, Tom Yoda, Hajime Ushioda, Hirokazu Kore-eda


Minami Ichikawa, Genki Kawamura, Ryo Ota, Kiyoshi Taguchi, Hajime Ushioda, Kenji Yamada, Tatsumi Yoda


Yûji Sakamoto


Ryuto Kondo


Hirokazu Kore-eda

Production Design

Keiko Mitsumatsu

Original Music

Ryuichi Sakamoto


Hirokazu Kore-eda headshot

Photo by Tamotsu Fujii

Hirokazu Kore-eda

Hirokazu Kore-eda was born in 1962 in Tokyo, Japan. Before pursuing film, He had originally intended to become a novelist. His directorial debut, Maborosi (1995) won the 52nd Venice International Film Festival’s Golden Osellam and he has been a fixture at international film festivals ever since, producing a string of gentle humanist films marked by their compassion and grace.

Filmography: Maborosi (1995); Still Walking (2008); Like Father, Like Son (2013); Shoplifters (2018); Broker (2022)

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