JAPAN / 2006 / Japanese / Color / Video / 39 min
Director, Photography, Sound, Narrative Structure: Kawase Naomi
Editing: Takefuji Kayo, Kawase Naomi
Co-production: Arte France
Production Companies: Kumie, Sent Inc.
World Sales: Kumie
The director raises her voice in anger, blaming her foster mother for threatening to abandon her as a young girl. Her impatience with her foster mother’s senility, and her affectionate gaze on the aging naked body. The birth of her son. Twelve years after Katatsumori, her first film about her foster mother, the director depicts one life growing old and drawing closer to death even as another life is bestowed through birth. This moving work quietly juxtaposes the two.
[Director’s Statement] This film was intended to portray a span of time from the day I became pregnant with another life through to the birth of that life. But, while making the film, I realized it wasn’t simply a story about just this one “life.” Before long, it had sublimated itself into a film portraying the ties between lives.
Born in Nara City in 1969, Kawase graduated from the Faculty of Film of the Osaka School of Photography (currently the Visual Arts College) in 1989. Embracing (1992) won the FIPRESCI Prize Special Mention and Katatsumori (1994) the Award of Excellence, both as part of the YIDFF ’95 New Asian Currents program. Kawase became the youngest-ever recipient of the Camera d’Or (for best feature film by a new director) at the Cannes Film Festival for Suzaku (1996). The Weald (1997, shown at YIDFF ’97), Hotaru (2000), Kya Ka Ra Ba A (2001), Shara (2003), and most of her other films have been shown at international film festivals and have received many prizes. Retrospectives of her films have been held at the 2000 Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland; the 2002 Infinity Film Festival; and the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, sponsored by the Musée d’Art Modern de la Ville de Paris. Kawase has published novelizations of Suzaku and Hotaru (Gentosha). She also directs commercials and music videos. She served on the New Asian Currents jury at YIDFF 2003, and her film Shadow (2004) was screened in the “all about me?” program at YIDFF 2005. Her latest work, The Mourning Forest (2007), was honored with the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and has attracted widespread attention.