Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

2021, Japan, 115

Screenwriter: Kurosawa, Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, Tadashi Nohara.

Cast: Yū Aoi, Issey Takahashi, Masahiro Higashide, and Ryōta Bandō.


The winner of the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival is an elegant psychological drama set in Kobe, on the precipice of Japan’s entry into World War II. Yusaku, an import/export businessman, is living a comfortable life with his pampered wife, Satoko. But his peace is threatened when a childhood friend, Taiji, warns him that his contact with foreigners puts him under the suspicion of the feared military police. When Yusaku travels to Manchuria on business, he stumbles on proof that Japan is testing biological weapons of war. With Alfred Hitchcock-level suspense, Wife of a Spy follows Yusaku and a newly-awakened Satoko as they try to expose Japan’s war crimes in Manchuria, while wondering at every turn who they can trust.

“Critic’s Pick! Thrum[s] with unusual intensity… Wife of a Spy is something like linear narrative perfection, with every scene perfectly calibrated.” – Glenn Kenny, The New York Times