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Moonlight Whispers

1h 37m Drama 1999


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One of two films directed by Akihiko Shiota in 1999 (the other is the equally arresting Don’t Look Back), Moonlight Whispers is a lacerating take on the youth film—taboo-breaking and startling in its depiction of unconditional love. Seventeen-year-old Takuya and Satsuki are kendo sparring partners who spend the better part of their early mornings training together. Developing schoolyard crushes, their meek friendship blossoms into innocent romance when they confess their affection for each other. But in the early dawning of this budding love, a growing listlessness manifests within Takuya when his perverse tendencies come to light—spiraling the relationship into unknown territory. A warped vision of first love, as awakening desires, thoughts and feelings begin to take hold, Shiota’s shocking and divisive debut has since found acclaim among a wide array of audiences including Leslie Caron and novelist Risa Wataya (Tremble All You Want).

  • New Directors Award, Directors Guild of Japan 1999
  • Juror’s Special Award, 1999 Yubari International Film Festival
  • Locarno, International Film Festival 1999
  • Toronto International Film Festival 1999

“Discreetly erotic… [Akihiko Shiota is] an original new talent.”—Variety

“A singular film… passionately romantic.” —Noah Cowan, Toronto International Film Festival

“Attains a hospitalized lyricism not seen since Cronenberg’s Crash.”—San Francisco Bay Guardian


Akihiko Shiota





Bonus Content

Introduction by Akihiko Shiota


Introduction by Shiota

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