Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Mr. Long

Stephan Holl (Co-Producer), Sho AOYAGI (Actor), YAO Yiti (Actress), CHANG Chen (Actor), Sabu (Director, Screenwriter), Shozo ICHIYAMA (Producer), Moderation: Anatol Weber

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Professional hitman Long takes on an assignment in Japan. When things go awry, he has to flee. Badly injured, he takes refuge in a deserted part of a small town. A young boy brings him water and clothing. Long installs himself in one of the dilapidated houses where he prepares simple meals for the eight-year-old Jun. Jun’s mother Lily is a drug addict and, like Long, comes from Taiwan. The news of Long’s tasty cooking quickly spreads throughout the neighbourhood, and Long’s neighbours organise a mobile food stall for him. Soon, people are queuing up for Long’s noodle soup. Lily manages to kick her habit with Long’s help and, for a while, it looks as though this could mark the beginning of a new life for this community which fate has thrown together.
The search for a way out of a spiral of violence, for a quiet life and emotional security are topics that pervade Japanese director Sabu’s oeuvre. Seamlessly stringing together the rugged vernacular of gangster films with the tender moments of a burgeoning love story, his new work combines perfectly choreographed outbreaks of violence with contemplative cooking scenes and surprising moments of slapstick comedy.


Japan / Hong Kong, China / Taiwan / Germany 2017

Mandarin, Japanese, Taiwanese

129’ · Colour


Chen Chang (Long)
Sho Aoyagi (Kenji)
Yiti Yao (Lily)
Runyin Bai (Jun)
Masashi Arifuku (Heisuke)
Taro Suwa (Tadao)
Ritsuko Okusa (Kumiko)
Shiiko Utagawa (Machiko)
Yusuke Fukuchi (Jiang)
Tetsuya Chiba (Sakata)


Written and Directed by
Koichi Furuya
Georg Petzold
Junichi Matsumoto
Sound Design
Nico Krebs
Masashi Furuya
Production Design
China Hayashi
Kazuyo Koiso
Shinji Hashimoto
Assistant Director
Kei Era
Nana Higashihiraa
Production Manager
Soichiro Koga
Shozo Ichiyama, Koki Kageyama, Yoichi Shimizu, Jacky Pang, Stephan Holl
Executive Producer
Ken Ariyama
Antoinette Köster, Masamitsu Iwahata



Born in the Japanese prefecture of Wakayama in 1964, he started out as an actor before turning to writing and directing in the 1990s. In 1996 he made his directing debut with D.A.N.G.A.N. Runner (Berlinale Panorama 1997). His films have screened several times in the Panorama and Forum and he has won numerous prizes at festivals, including the FIPRESCI prize in Berlin in 2000 for Monday. In 2015, his film Ten no chasuke (Chasuke's Journey) screened in the Berlinale Competition.


1996 D.A.N.G.A.N. Runner (aka Non-Stop) 1997 Postman Blues · Unlucky Monkey 1999 Monday 2001 Drive 2002 The Blessing Bell 2003 Hard Luck Hero 2005 Hold Up Down · Dead Run 2009 Kanikosen 2011 Bunny Drop 2013 Miss Zombie 2015 Ten no chasuke (Chasuke’s Journey) 2016 Happiness 2017 Mr. Long

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017

Produced by

Live Max Film

LDH Pictures

BLK2 Pictures

Kaohsiung Film Fund

Rapid Eye Movies

World Sales

Jet Tone Films