I Just Didn't Do It (image 1)

If a film can change Japan's legal system, this is the one – but don't hold your breath.

Mark Schilling, Japan Times

Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

I Just Didn't Do It 2007

Soredemo boku wa yattenai

Directed by Suo Masayuki

This gripping courtroom drama provides a hair-raising exposé of the Japanese justice system. "If a film can change Japan's legal system, this is the one." — Japan Times

Japan In Japanese with English subtitles
143 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay

Photography

Kayano Naoki

Editor

Kikuchi Junichi

Music

Suo Yoshikazu

With

Kase Ryo
,
Seto Asaka
,
Yamamoto Koji
,
Motai Masako
,
Yakusho Koji

Festivals

New York, Vancouver, London 2007

Elsewhere

Free advice: don't get arrested in Japan, and if you do, plead guilty. Japanese judges - there are no juries - pride themselves on a 99.9% conviction rate. In this gripping criminal justice procedural a young man accused of groping a schoolgirl on a train is advised by the police to plead guilty, pay a small fine, and get on with his life. Instead he maintains his innocence. Innocent or not, this is a terrible mistake. Hell is in the details of a legal system where authority never loses face and the notion of presumed innocence simply doesn't exist. Director Suo Masayuki accentuates the Kafkaesque nightmare with tantalising glimpses of crusading defense lawyers and disinterested witnesses, but the ultimate effect is an utterly damning picture of the injustice underlying Japan's much-vaunted social placidity. — BG