The Third Murder

Kore-Eda Hirokazu

Japan 2017, 124 min.


Spoken language: Japanese

Subtitles: English

Dutch premiere

Festival year: 2018

Beautifully stylized Japanese murder mystery and philosophical legal thriller. When a man confesses to the murder of his former boss, it seems like an open-and-shut case. But as the man’s story keeps changing, his lawyer goes on a search for the truth. Slowly but surely, he begins to doubt everything.

Serene and middle-aged Misumi confesses to the robbery and murder of the boss who had recently fired him for theft. He needed money to pay off gambling debts, he says. Because he has already served a 30-year prison sentence for another murder, he now almost certainly faces the death penalty.

His lawyer Shigemori is looking for an angle to plan the best defence strategy. He is not helped by the fact that Misumi’s story keeps changing. As the lawyer goes out to investigate what has actually happened, he gets more confused at every turn. In this mysterious tale, acclaimed director Hirokazu Kore-Eda (Like Father, Like Son; After the Storm) investigates philosophical questions about justice, law and human nature. Does compassion have an place in law? Can someone deserve to die? And perhaps most important of all: who decides who gets judged?


The Third Murder has been selected for the Camera Justitia competition.


Official website:


Gaga Corporation


Dutch distribution:



World sales:

Wild Bunch,

+33 143132164

Talkshows & debates

The Third Murder: Q&A with Frans Bauduin

Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 16:15

Former criminal court judge Frans Bauduin speaks about the dilemmas raised by the film The Third Murder.