Four people whose lives are connected by a common tragedy discuss the paths their lives have taken in this drama from Japan. Minoru (Susumu Terajima) is a businessman, Atsushi (Araka) is a disaffected post-modern teen, Kiyoka (Yui Natsukawa) is an educator, and Masaru (Yusuke Iseya) a quiet young woman.
Normally, these four would have nothing in common and little to say to one another, but fate has brought them together through an unfortunate circumstance -- they all had relatives who were members of the Ark of Truth, a combination religious cult and terrorist group whose desire to lash out at society led them to dump poison in Tokyo's water processing plants, leading to the death of 128 people and serious illness in thousands of others.
The Ark of Truth members directly responsible for the poisoning were then attacked and killed by the other members of the group.
On the third anniversary of this disaster, the foursome is part of a handful of people who mourn their loved ones near a remote lake where the Ark of Truth was formed; afterward, they discover that the car they arrived in has been stolen, and along with Koichi (Tadanobu Asano), a former member of the cult, they must spend the night in a cabin where the group once met.
Inspired in part by the infamous Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo, which was responsible for releasing nerve gas in a Tokyo subway, leading to the death of 12 people, Distance was directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, who previously made the international success After Life.