Sakura Ando (SHOPLIFTERS, MONSTER) plays Neri, a ruthless con woman who helps run complex-and profitable-phone scams in the slums of Osaka. When her younger half-brother Joe (Ryosuke Yamada) gets out of prison, Neri convinces her boss to hire him. But while Neri struggles with her lot in life at the lowest of society''s echelons, Joe appears to derive psychopathic pleasure from the pain he inflicts on others. Worse, he exhibits none of his sister’s professionalism. Inhabiting a shadowy world of deceit and brutal criminal behavior, the two wayward siblings manage to play by the rules of the gang until one day, Joe hatches a scheme to pay off his mounting gambling debts and transform them from ''have-nots'' into ''haves.'' Not surprisingly, it doesn''t go off as planned. While it nets them bankbooks worth untold millions of yen, their attempts to escape from the cesspool of the bad lands prove nearly impossible. Japanese auteur and past HIFF honoree Masato Harada (SEKIGAHARA, BARAGAKI) proves once again that he is a master storyteller with a brilliant eye for casting actors who will provoke the greatest empathy from the least deserving of characters. BAD LANDS is a multi-textured exploration of a marginalized yet tight-knit community that comes undone when desperation and greed start to tear it apart.