Hiroki Ryuichi’s new film, “River” about Akihabara massacre

Acclaimed filmmaker Hiroki Ryuichi (“Keibetsu,” “Yomei Ikkagetsu no Hanayome”) is taking on a challenging subject for his next movie, “RIVER.” It will be the first theatrical film to deal with the 2008 incident known as the “Akihabara massacre,” in which a man drove a truck into a pedestrian crowd and proceeded to stab several people, leaving a total of 7 dead and 10 injured.

The movie stars actress Renbutsu Misako (20) as a young woman named Hikari whose boyfriend Kenji, an electronics otaku, was killed in the incident. Suffering from the shock of the loss and unable to accept reality, she begins to shut herself off from the rest of the world. Eventually, she pulls herself together and decides to visit Akihabara, where she encounters various individuals who are also trying to focus on “living in the present” despite their circumstances.

The supporting cast includes a female photographer (Nakamura Mami), a scout for a maid cafe (Taguchi Tomorowo), and a maid cafe employee (Nahana). Negishi Toshie, Emoto Tokio, and Kobayashi Yukichi will also appear.

The film’s theme song will be “Moon River,” originally used in the classic film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

“RIVER” will open in theaters nationwide in March 2012. Before that, it will get a special premiere screening next month at the 12th Tokyo Filmex (November 19-27).