Yuriko had been violently hurt by love and has given up on everything. She ends up wandering around an island where she meets a strange man, Iwai, who is renting out a room at his house for 500 yen a day. Deciding to stay at Iwai’s house that night, Yuriko peeks in on Iwai and spies his closet actions that comes across as if he’s clinging on to a past love. Despite ridiculing Iwai, she is intrigued and continues to live with him as if nothing happened. She passes the day peacefully with Iwai, but at night peeks in on his intense acts. Why does he do what he does? Ultimately, Yuriko’s desires spur her to surprising actions of her own and their lives take an unexpected turn.
Given the Hokkaido-born actress’ early filmography, appearing in such J-cult classics as Helldriver and Yakuza Weapon, Murata Yui might have become one of Japan’s cult movie queens. But she diversified and also appeared in indie fare such as Imaizumi Rikiya’s ensemble Same Old, Same Old. Recently she was one of the stars of Haga Takashi and Suzuki Sho’s unique female-bonding study Me and My Brother’s Mistress.
Secret Breaths was her directorial debut which she also wrote and starred. It screened at the 9th Tanabe-Benkei Film Festival, the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, and the Fukuoka Independent Film Festival. In 2017, she followed up Secret Breaths with the short, désolée, which has been described as a “dark, French Lolita movie that harshly draws with delicate and beautiful imagery the broken hearts of three women.” She filmed the sequel Kadode (lit. “A Start”) in 2018. There is a definite perspective which informs her movies and she has progressively displayed a developing voice in her storytelling. One can only anticipate what her next work will be.