Kiyoshi Kurosawa brings his usual scrupulous gaze to notions of vengeance and guilt in his epic new work. Focusing on a mother whose daughter is killed and the four childhood friends who perhaps bear some culpability for the crime, the film is told in multiple parts, each focusing on a particular character. Asako is the parent in question and her child Emili is kidnapped one day while playing with her friends after school. All of the surviving girls saw the face of the culprit, but claim to have no memory of any defining details. Understandably, Asako finds this hard to believe and curses the girls, saying they must pay for their negligence. True to her word, 15 years later she tracks down each girl to try and find some answers. What she discovers is a quartet of young women who have been affected by the experience in manifold ways. With mounting tension, subtle characterization and moving performances, Penance justifies its expansive runtime with a surety of storytelling and style that befit its epic nature.