Kino Lorber acquires U.S. rights for Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s WIFE OF SPY

Kino Lorber acquires U.S. rights for Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Wife of a Spy

The espionage thriller and Venice International Film Festival Silver Lion Best Director Winner will release in Spring 2021

“A film of sober elegance and control, Wife Of A Spy..is beautifully executed...the film will consolidate Kurosawa’s profile as a director of considerable mastery.” - Screen Daily

“An absorbing, exotic, well-paced thriller with moments of disconcerting
 realism and horror.” - The Hollywood Reporter 

“Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s Subdued Marital Thriller Is His Best Movie in Years.”   ― David Ehrlich, Indiewire


New York, NY – (December 10, 2020) – Kino Lorber has acquired U.S. rights for Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Wife of a Spy, winner of the Silver Lion for Best Direction at the 2020 Venice Film Festival. The suspenseful espionage thriller is set to release in Spring 2021 and is Kurosawa’s first historical drama. The film reteams him with Japanese actress Yu Aoi, who previously starred in his film Journey To The Shore and episodic drama Penance, and actor Issey Takahashi (Kill Bill, Shin Godzilla). Kurosawa co-wrote the film with two of his former students, director Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Happy Hour and Asako I & II) and his writing partner Tadashi Nohara. The film is shot in 8K Super Hi-Vision developed by Japanese production company NHK, a new groundbreaking technique where the images are intensely clear and well-defined.

Wife of a Spy is a Hitchcokian thriller set in Kobe, Japan in 1940 before the outbreak of World War II.  It tells the story of a Japanese actress whose wealthy merchant husband witnesses government-approved human experiments while on a business trip to Manchuria. A mysterious woman who returns with him from the trip is murdered and life-changing consequences await them as the couple plot to smuggle evidence of the atrocities out of Japan to the United States.  Meanwhile, the wife’s  childhood friend, now a military policeman, is hot on their heels.

Wife of a Spy was negotiated by Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell and Nikkatsu Corporation’s Emico Kawai, International Sales.

Lidell said, “Kurosawa’s satisfying return to form is sure to delight his fans and win him new ones. The stunning cinematography, period sets and costumes, and historical backdrop are more than matched by the twisty intrigues of the plot.” 

Wife of a Spy will be released in Spring 2021, followed by a VOD release on Kino Now and home video.


Kiyoshi Kurosawa 
Born in 1955, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Kurosawa began making 8mm films at university and  achieved his commercial feature film directorial debut in 1983 with Kandagawa Wars and subsequently drew international attention with Cure (1997), License to Live (1998), Barren Illusion (1999), and Charisma (1999). Pulse (2000) was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize in the Un Certain Regard section  of the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. Other films that received acclaim included Bright Future (2002), which was selected for competition at Cannes. In 2003, Doppelganger (2002), Loft (2005), and Retribution (2006), screened at Venice Film Festival. Tokyo Sonata (2008) won the Jury Prize in Cannes’ Un  Certain Regard section, and Best Film at the 2009 Asian Film Awards. His miniseries Penance (2011) accomplished an unusual feat for a television production when it  was screened out of competition at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, and also traveled to  many other festivals around the world. Recent works include Real (2013); Seventh Code (2013), which won Best Director at that year’s Rome Film Festival; Journey to the Shore (2014), winner of Best Director in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section and the 33rd  Kawakita Award in 2015; Creepy (2016), an official selection of the Berlin  International Film Festival; and Daguerreotype (2016), Kurosawa’s first overseas  production, made with a French cast and crew. In 2017, Before We Vanish was screened  in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section. To the Ends of the Earth was  screened as the closing film at 2019 Locarno Film Festival. His current historical drama Wife of a Spy has the distinction of being his first period film and won Best Director prize at 2020 Venice Film Festival.

Kino Lorber
With a library of over 4,000 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for 35 years, releasing 30 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Repertory and Alive Mind Cinema banners, garnering seven Academy Award® nominations in nine years. In addition, the company brings over 350 titles yearly to the home entertainment and educational markets through physical and digital media releases. With an expanding family of distributed labels, Kino Lorber handles releases in ancillary media for Zeitgeist Films, Cohen Media Group, Greenwich Entertainment, Artsploitation, Palisades Tartan, Menemsha Films, Raro Video, and others, placing physical titles through all wholesale, retail, and direct to consumer channels, as well as direct digital distribution through over 40 OTT services including all major TVOD and SVOD platforms. In 2019, the company launched its new art house digital channel Kino Now which features over 1000 titles from the acclaimed Kino Lorber library. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kino Marquee initiative was launched in 2020 pioneering "virtual theatrical" releases of art house films with revenue shares that allows audiences to support almost 400 local independent theaters.