09 20 Oct '24
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Shôhei Imamura

Vengeance Is Mine

Edition 2023
139' - 1979 - Crime, Drama - Dialogue: English, Japanese
Director: Shôhei Imamura Composer: Shinichirô Ikebe With: Ken Ogata, Rentaro Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako
Vengeance Is Mine is a riveting cinematic exploration of a remorseless serial killer's chilling rampage through Japan, based on real-life events. Director Shohei Imamura's unflinching portrayal delves deep into the mind of the protagonist, offering a harrowing and thought-provoking journey into the darkest corners of human psychology.
Based on true events, Imamura paints the portrait of a pathological killer who managed to elude the police for a very long time through lies and deception. Imamura doesn't immediately seek an explanation for the protagonist's animalistic behavior, but the images are so potent and compelling that the viewer becomes intensely involved in the cruel odyssey across the entire Japanese archipelago. As is often the case in the universe of the Japanese master, sex and death are intimately intertwined, and the boundary between the animal and the human is revealed to be razor-thin. The fragmented and erratic storytelling style, the merciless rhythm bursting with vitality, and the restless compositions of the images give the viewer a sense of controlled chaos. It's as if we are locked inside the mind of this astonishing psychopath ourselves.
"This icily precise, true account of the life of a mass murderer makes every other film on the In Cold Blood theme look like child’s play. The remarkable objectivity, combined with the formal beauty and its refusal to explain or condemn the killer, makes it a devastating experience." - Cinematheque Ontario

Image gallery

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Shôhei Imamura


Shinichirô Ikebe


Ken Ogata, Rentaro Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako


Masaru Baba, Shunsaku Ikehata

Director of Photography

Shinsaku Himeda


Keiichi Uraoka


Kazuo Inoue

Production studios

Imamura Productions

More information


English, Japanese

Countries of production


Screenplay based on

'Vengeance is Mine' (Ryûzô Saki)




Shôhei Imamura
Stolen Desire (1958), Nishi Ginza Station (1958), Endless Desire (1958), My Second Brother (1959), Pigs and Battleships (1961), The Insect Woman (1963), Intentions of Murder (1964), The Pornographers (1966), A Man Vanishes (1967), Profound Desires of the Gods (1968), History of Postwar Japan as Told by a Bar Hostess (1970), Karayuki-san, the Making of a Prostitute (1975), Vengeance Is Mine (1979), Why Not? (1981), The Ballad of Narayama (1983), Zegen (1987), Black Rain (1989), The Eel (1997), Dr. Akagi (1998), Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (2001), September 11 (2002)

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