Monster: Kore-eda returns

Monster - Kaibutsu © DR

Winner of the Palme d’Or in 2018 for Shoplifters and the Jury Prize in 2013 for Like Father, Like Son, Hirokazu Kore-eda returns to Competition for the seventh time with Kaibutsu (Monster), a thriller about the relationship between a mother, her young son and his teacher.

Minato (Soya Kurokawa), a young boy, is displaying increasingly worrying behaviour both at school and at home. His mother, Saori (Sakura Ando), decides to discuss it with the teaching staff at his school. It soon becomes apparent that his teacher, Hori (Eita Nagayama), is the source of all the problems. But as the mystery unfolds, the truth turns out to be more complex than expected.

For the production of his sixteenth feature film, not only does Hirokazu Kore-eda tackle a new side of human relationships and their fractures, he also surrounds himself with a brand new team. He is joined by screenwriter Yuji Sakamoto, known for many Japanese TV series, and films such as We Made a Beautiful Bouquet. Only cinematographer Ryoto Kondo had already worked with the filmmaker, on Shoplifters, winner of the Palme d’Or in 2018.


“Working with this team for the first time, we have been able to make an incredible film that really makes me proud.”


Monster also marks Kore-eda’s much anticipated return to the Land of the Rising Sun. His last film, Broker, presented in Competition last year, was made entirely in South Korea. This return to his roots also gave him the opportunity to team up with legendary composer Ryuichi Sakamoto who created the music for the film. The talent behind the soundtracks of Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Gohatto and Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, the musician, who died in March 2023, is a regular in Competition. Monster is the last film he worked on.