This tale of sin and redemption, desperation and hope, shared the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. It's an emotionally demanding film that's often burdened by metaphors. When he finds his wife in bed with another man, Takuro (Yakusho) brutally stabs her to death and immediately turns himself in to police. After serving an eight-year sentence, he's released and emerges a melancholy, laconic man who communicates best with his pet eel. He opens a barbershop and hires a young, beautiful woman (Shimizu), who's also haunted by her past. They form a bond through their shared aloofness and the uneasiness they feel around people.
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