Kiyoshi Kurosawa • Japan • 2020 • A masterful wartime romance co-written by Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Kobe, 1940. The outbreak of World War II looms on the horizon, and local merchant and amateur filmmaker Yusaku has a bad feeling. Following a trip to Manchuria, he becomes determined to expose events he witnessed and secretly filmed while there. Meanwhile, his wife Satoko receives a visit from her childhood friend, now a military policeman, who issues a warning. With nothing quite as it seems, Satoko is torn between her loyalty to her husband and the life they have built, and the country they call home.
Steeped in sumptuous cinematography and classical, understated storytelling, Wife of a Spy masterfully evokes the moral quandaries of one of the darkest chapters in Japanese history. The latest film from prolific filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Doppelganger) premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, where it won a Silver Lion for Best Director. Wife of a Spy is a New York Times Critic’s Pick.