The Japanese suicide rate has fallen for eight straight years, to 21,321 in 2017, but this number is still high compared to other advanced countries, and is course of no consolation to the families of those who take their own lives.

The effect of suicide on one such family is the theme of “Lying to Mom,” the first feature by Katsumi Nojiri, a 43-year-old who rose through the assistant directing ranks. It is based on Nojiri’s original script, which was in turn inspired by the suicide of his own brother.

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