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Harmful Insect

1h 32m Coming of Age 2002


Thirteen-year-old Sachiko (Aoi Miyazaki, Eureka) finds her life set adrift after her father’s desertion and a suicide attempt by her mother. As she tries to make sense of it all—from her mother’s lack of parental guidance to the pervasive rumors circulating about her at school—Sachiko stops attending classes, preferring instead to spend her days with a pair of social outcasts while exchanging letters with her former teacher. A raw portrait of fleeting childhood and forced maturation, Shiota’s tragic tale of troubled youth finds Sachiko desperately trying to find her way in an increasingly cruel world.

  • 2001 Venice International FIlm Festival, Cinema of the Present Competition

“A near-masterpiece, as crisply, cunningly edited and designed a movie as you could ever hope to see.”—MUBI

Note: This feature is soft-subtitled. Please click on the “CC” button in the lower-right corner of the player to enable English subtitles

Streaming in North America from December 3-23 as part of Flash Forward: Debut Works and Recent Films by Notable Japanese Directors | Rent together with Shiota’s Farewell Song for only $15!


Akihiko Shiota



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