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Prison Circle


Remarkably, this is the first ever feature-length documentary to be filmed inside a Japanese prison. Crime is still something of a taboo topic in Japan. It took director SAKAGAMI Kaori six years to obtain permission to shoot at the Shimane Asahi Rehabilitation Program Centre where prisoners undergo a therapeutic programme based on individual and group sessions. By dividing the film into chapters and focusing on each individual story – the previous crimes of the prisoners are shown in the form of astonishing sand drawings – she creates the atmosphere of a dark fairy tale, made much creepier as soon as you realise that it all actually happened. The photography is intentionally raw, to avoid distracting the audience from the story or embellishing an environment that definitely does not need it. (Synopsis from Camera Japan Festival)

Film Festivals (selected): Nippon Connection, Japan Cuts, Camera Japan Festival
Available to stream on (subject to change): n/a

[This film is NOT available to stream on SAKKA. We do not own the copyright, and this page is for informative purposes only.]


Kaori Sakagami

Nippon Connection
Japan Cuts
Camera Japan Festival