1991-2000AsianJapanKiyoshi KurosawaThriller

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Hebi no michi AKA Serpent’s Path (1998)

Midnight Eye review:
Serpent’s Path and its companion piece Eyes of the Spider (Kumo No Hitomi) both start from the same premise: a man taking revenge for the murder of a child. Kurosawa used this premise as the jumping-off point for the two films rather than their definition, resulting in a pair of works which are not so much occupied with revenge, but with the mental processes of human beings in situations that have placed them outside everyday life.

As Serpent’s Path opens we see two men, named Nijima (Kurosawa regular Sho Aikawa) and Miyashita (Teruyuki Kagawa), drive their car to an abandoned warehouse on the edge of town. Out of the trunk they drag a man, who they take with them into the building and chain to a wall. Miyashita is out for revenge against the killers of his eight-year old daughter. Nijima, a schoolteacher by trade, is helping him, though exactly why and how these two men decided to team up remains unclear. They proceed to subtly torment their victim, a low-level yakuza, into a confession. Miyashita, himself a former yakuza, is grief stricken and about to lose his sanity altogether. He laments over a perpetually looping extract of home video footage of his daughter, which is played on a tv set in front of their captive. Nijima on the other hand is calm and collected, his detached air of professionalism keeping Miyashita’s smouldering rage at bay.

But the confession they hope for doesn’t come. Instead they get the name of another possible culprit who ends up in the same situation. He in turn gives them the name of another and pretty soon the two avengers find themselves in more trouble than they bargained for and nowhere nearer the identity of the actual murderer.

1.16GB | 1h 25mn | 832×468 | mkv



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