Not available for screening anymore

Backwater (Tomogui)

Directed by Shinji Aoyama

  • Japan 2013; 102 min
  • Original version: Japanese
  • Genre: Drama
    • Youth Jury Award for Best Film - FF Locarno
    • Bocallino Award for Best Director - FF Locarno


1988. Toma, seventeen, lives in a town by a river with his father, who is engaged in some shady dealings, and his father’s mistress, Kotoko. He sometimes visits his mother, Jinko, who runs a fish shop. Toma is disgusted by his father’s activities and his daily abusive sex sessions with Kotoko but he becomes very aware of the similarities he reluctantly shares with his father when he starts dating Chigusa. One day, Toma suddenly turns violent and Chigusa leaves him. In the meantime, a typhoon approaches and floods the town, allowing Kotoko, now pregnant, to run away from Toma’s father. Enraged, the latter goes on a frantic search for his mistress only interrupted by his encounter with Chigusa, who is waiting for Toma in a shrine to make up with him.

Director's Statement

When I read the original novel, my first reaction was "I don't want anybody else to make a movie out of this story". I smelt the fragrance of this specific land, its rural human relationship, everything in this story was related to me. Just like the author Shinya Tanaka has been the only one to write the story in this place, I believe I am the only one to make this movie and I want to make a movie quite original that can be made only by Shinji Aoyama, myself. It has been a long time since I forgot these feelings about making movies, but this time I do on this one. I am so excited.