Berlinale: Programme

Film file


While the Women Are Sleeping

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Kenji and Aya are spending a few days at a hotel over the summer. As she pursues her work related interests, he tries to find inspiration for his new novel. A strange couple amongst the other guests awakens his curiosity. Who are the considerably older man, Sahara, and the young woman, Miki, if not father and daughter? Dr Sahara, played charismatically and with a deeply rooted sense of quiet confidence by Beat Takeshi alias Takeshi Kitano, records young Miki every night with his video camera. At night while the women are asleep, the men sit by the pool and discuss Miki’s life and death. Kenji feels uneasy about pursuing his curiosity but is also beset by the fear of leaving the mysterious Miki to her own devices and is filled with the shame of being a prisoner of his fatal fantasies – notions of reality and possibility begin to shift within him and the carefree summer atmosphere becomes increasingly threatening.
Seduction, betrayal, murder, insomnia and apparitions are the elements at play in Wayne Wang’s tense and masterful version of the eponymous short story by Spanish writer Javier Marías, which takes a bewitching look at the meaning of love.

Japan 2016, 103 min


Wayne Wang


Beat Takeshi
Hidetoshi Nishijima
Shioli Kutsuna
Sayuri Oyamada

World Sales

Toei Company