Archive of films Tokyo Tribe / Tokyo Tribe

2014, 116 min

Section: Midnight Screenings
Year: 2015

A Japanese West Side Story full of battle rap, stylized mafiosi, and seasoned kung fu fighters. A hip-hop musical set in Tokyo after dark, where antagonistic tribes run the show. The war to determine the best freestyler may now begin.


Karlovy Vary’s audiences need no introduction to Japanese director Sion Sono. His latest film, Tokyo Tribe, is his fifth to be shown at the festival. In Tokyo Tribe, Sono continues to develop his distinctive style, where nothing is sacred and no genre is taboo. Following the family psycho-thriller Noriko’s Dinner Table, the perverse epic Love Exposure, and his cinematic homage to yakuza films Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, audiences can now look forward to a hip-hop opera full of burlesque anime-style violence and spectacular musical numbers that even West Side Story could be proud of. On the run from her father, the lone warrior Sunmi gets caught up in a gang war that has just one aim – full control of night-time Tokyo. The balance between the clans is fragile, and the leaders of the various crews are bracing for the final showdown. A phantasmagorical vision of a city in which style is everything.

Nikola Paggio

About the director

Sion Sono (b. 1961, Toyokawa, Japan) garnered attention at age 17 when he began publishing experimental poetry. He dropped out of university to make 8mm movies – his first film, the 30-minute I Am Sion Sono!! was shown at the PIA festival in 1985. Since his feature-length debut Bicycle Sighs (1990), he has made a new film practically every year. Over time, he has earned a reputation as one of the most non-conformist Japanese filmmakers around today, and his films have been shown at festivals in Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Toronto. At past festivals in Karlovy Vary, audiences were able to see Noriko’s Dinner Table (Noriko no shokutaku, 2005, awarded the Special Jury Prize), Love Exposure (Ai no mukidashi, 2008) and Guilty of Romance (Koi no tsumi, 2011).


Nikkatsu Corporation
3-28-12 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, 113 0033, Tokyo
Tel: +81 356 891 014
Fax: +81 356 891 042

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Midnight Screenings
Director: Sion Sono
Screenplay: Sion Sono
Dir. of Photography: Daisuke Soma
Music: BCDMG
Editor: Junichi Ito
Art Director: Yuji Hayashida
Producer: Yoshinori Chiba, Nobuhiro Iizuka
Production: Nikkatsu Corporation
Cast: Ryohei Suzuki, Young Dais, Nana Seino
Sales: Nikkatsu Corporation


Sion Sono

Film Director


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