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Winner of the best Japanese film prize at the 2018 Skip City International D-Cinema Festival in Saitama Prefecture, Natsuki Nakagawa’s first feature “She is Alone” has a polished, professional look — the contribution of veteran cinematographer Akiko Ashizawa — and a pared-down script by Nakagawa herself that skirts the edge of melodrama.

It is anchored by strong performances from its two young leads, Hiroto Kanai and Akari Fukunaga, playing childhood friends who become victim and victimizer. And the film hangs together emotionally, even when the characters’ words verge on the cryptic and their actions, on the incomprehensible.

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