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Working from her own scripts, which are based on her own novels, Miwa Nishikawa has made film after cannily observed film about human duplicity, criminal or otherwise, often with a black-comedy slant. With her latest film, “Under the Open Sky,” Nishikawa shows again why she belongs in the top ranks of Japan’s directors.

Starring Koji Yakusho as a weathered ex-convict just released from prison after serving 13 years for murder, the film screened at the Toronto and Chicago festivals to glowing receptions from critics and fans, though Nishikawa couldn’t be there to bask in the applause.

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