Tokyo, 1994. In a video interview a young woman discusses the significance of a teddy bear. Shortly afterwards, a burning object falls from a high-rise building at night. A young man, naked and bound, falls out of a locker. Two fisherman talk about a water spirit. In his unusual drama River’s Edge Isao Yukisada lays many trails and jumps as abruptly and unpredictably between the various narrative threads as do his characters: Ichiro is gay; he is preyed upon by his violent fellow pupils but seems to draw strength from his injuries. He makes a gruesome discovery at a nearby river polluted by industrial waste and shows it to his best friend, a girl named Haruna. Kannonzaki loves rough sex and in the course of it transgresses more and more boundaries. An introverted girl obsessively reads her pregnant sister’s diaries and Kozue, a model with bulimia, buries herself in mountains of food at night. All these and other stories are brilliantly interwoven into a breathless social portrait of a driven but apparently lost generation and their seemingly unavoidable encounters with violence.
by Isao Yukisada
with Fumi Nikaidou, Ryo Yoshizawa, Aoi Morikawa, Shuhei Uesugi, Sumire, Shiori Doi
Japan 2018 Japanese 118’


  • Fumi Nikaidou (Haruna Wakakusa)
  • Ryo Yoshizawa (Ichiro Yamada)
  • Aoi Morikawa (Kanna Tajima)
  • Shuhei Uesugi (Kannonzaki)
  • Sumire (Kozue Yoshikawa)
  • Shiori Doi (Rumi Koyama)


Director Isao Yukisada
Screenplay Misaki Setoyama
Cinematography Kenji Maki
Editing Tsuyoshi Imai
Music Hiroko Sebu
Sound Hironori Ito
Art Director Naoki Soma
Production Design Takahisa Taguchi
Costumes Masumi Sugimoto
Make-Up Akemi Kurata
Assistant Director Yu Koreyasu
Producers Shinji Ogawa, Takahiro Yoshizawa, Shunsuke Koga, Tsuyoshi Sugiyama

World sales

Kino Films

Produced by


Isao Yukisada

Born in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan in 1968. His feature film debut Sunflower won the Fipresci Prize at the 2000 Busan International Film Festival. Go was nominated for over 50 international awards while Sekai no Chûshin de, Ai o Sakebu (Crying Out Love in the Center of the World) reached an audience of 6.2 million, making it Japan’s most commercially successful film of 2004. Parêdo (Parade) screened in the 2010 Panorama and won the Fipresci Prize at the 60th Berlinale. Alongside his film work, he also directs theatre. River’s Edge is his fourth film to appear in Panorama.

Filmography (selection)

1998 Open House 2000 Tojiru Hi (Enclosed Pain) 2001 Zeitaku na Hone (Luxurious Bone) · Go 2003 Kyô no Dekigoto (A Day on the Planet) 2004 Sekai no Chûshin de, Ai o Sakebu (Crying Out Love in the Center of the World) 2010 Parêdo (Parade) 2013 Tsuya no Yoru (Before the Vigil) 2016 Jimunopedi ni Midareru (Aroused by Gymnopedies) 2017 Naratâju (Narratage) 2018 River’s Edge

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018