Brooding outsider Mikiro (Kenta Yamagishi) catches Sotoko (Saki Tanaka) just as she reaches a breaking point in her claustrophobic rural life. Their encounter introduces an eroticism with a violent edge that threatens to slash apart her toxic marriage with the abusive Atsuya (Yasuhiro Isobe) and his web of small town corruption. However Natsuki Nakagawa renders this pulpy premise in deadpan realism, revealing Sotoko (homophonous with soto, meaning both “beyond” and “outside”) as a powerful character who challenges femme fatale archetypes, living in the frustration of failing to understand, even until the very end, those who are held closest. Structured with repeated scenes in a moonlit forest, Beyond the Night pierces the uncanny surface of physical reality to access the turmoil of humans’ inner desires.
Available streaming territory: U.S. only
in Japanese with English subtitles