Vengeance Is Mine
title: 復讐するは我にあり, fukushū suru wa ware ni ari
) is a 1979 film directed by Shohei Imamura
, based on the book of the same name by Ryuzo Saki
. It depicts the true story of serial killer Akira Nishiguchi
(Iwao Enokizu in the film).
It stars Ken Ogata
as Enokizu, with Mayumi Ogawa
, Rentaro Mikuni
, Mitsuko Baisho
, Nijiko Kiyokawa
and Chocho Miyako
. The film won the 1979 Best Picture Award at the Japanese Academy Awards
, and won Best Screenplay at the Yokohama Film Festival
, where Ken Ogata also won Best Actor.
A thief, murderer, and lady charmer, Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata
) is on the run from the police.Shohei Imamura
turns this fact-based story of the seventy-eight-day killing spree of a remorseless man from a devoutly Catholic family into a cold and perverse portrait of the primitive coexisting with the modern.
The film covers topics close to heart in Imamura's three-hour epic, The Profound Desire of the Gods
back in 1968, which also delved into human behaviour in extremis
. Over a decade later, the release of Vengeance Is Mine
touches upon the moral squalor of moden Japan during and after the war, too. Its historical context is of a country that oozes self-hating guilt, which indirectly manifests itself in the form of a serial killer's maturation and anti-career.