[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
• AOKI Takehiko
• SAWADA Masamichi
• KAWASE Naomi
[ Cast ]
• MURAKAMI Nijiro Kaito
• YOSHINAGA Jun Kyoko
• SUGIMOTO Tetta Tetsu
• MATSUDA Miyuki Isa
• WATANABE Makiko Misaki
• MURAKAMI Jun Atsushi
• TOKITA Fujio Kamejiro
[ Staff ]
• Screenplay: KAWASE Naomi
• Cinematography: YAMAZAKI Yutaka
• Lighting: OTA Yasuhiro
• Sound Recording: AO Shigetake
• Production Design: INOUE Kenji
• Editor: Tina BAZ
[ Production Company ]
WOWOW, Asmik Ace, Kumie, PONY CANYON, COMME DES CINÉMAS, ARTE FRANCE CINÉMA, LLUIS MINARRO
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
Asmik Ace (Japan), HAUT ET COURT DISTRIBUTION (France), MK2 (Sales Campany)
[ Production Studio ]
Kumie, COMME DES CINÉMAS
Release Date: July 26, 2014
Running Time: 120 min
Genre: Drama , Feature
Screening Format: DCP,Blu-ray
Screen Size: Cinema Scope (1:2.35)
Sound Processing: 5.1ch
Screening Format with Subtitles
[ Story ]
Official selection in competition for the 67th Cannes Film Festival.
The Mourning Forest,
director Kawase Naomi returns to her ancestral roots in the resplendent natural setting of Amami Oshima for this drama that sensitively portrays the bonds of life. Lead actor Murakami Nijiro makes his acting debut in this film.
16-year-old Kaito (Murakami), who lives with his mother in Amami Oshima, discovers a corpse floating in the ocean on the night of a full moon. Meanwhile, his classmate Kyoko (Yoshinaga Jun) fears the death of her mother, who doesn’t have much time left to live. Kaito and Kyoko deal with complex emotions and quickly grow close, but…
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Competition
• 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, Contemporary World Cinema
• 2014 San sebastian International Film Festival
• 2014 International Film Festival of Asian Pacific Countries in Vladivostok, International Competition, Best Feature Award
On the island of Amami-Oshima life follows the rhythms of nature and the traditions are closely connected to it. In summer, during a full moon night, enlivened by traditional dances, the Kaito finds the body of a man with a tattooed back on the beach. Kaito is sixteen years old and lives alone with his mother (his father is a tattoo artist in Tokyo), and he is in love with the same age Kyoto, whose mother, long sick, is about to die. Both are questioning, each in its own way, the meaning of life, of death, witnessing the birth of their love.
Moe no Suzaku comes to mind, the film with which Kawase Naomi won the Chamber for the best first work in 1997. Since then his cinema, metaphysical, spiritual, pedantic, feminine and intimately autobiographical has visited remote corners of the human soul and has staged the feeling in its most subtle nuances, the relationship of man in the environment in which he lives, the melancholy drunkenness of days, the lightness of feelings, the threads that intertwine to never be able to dissolve again. Being in the world. Everything also comes back to this wonderful Futatsume no mado where Kawase is seduced by the symbiosis of man with nature and tells the cycle of life and the memory enclosed in the places. It seems that the director’s family was originally from this island, for this reason, after so many films set in Nara, the decision to change the landscape and sink into a sort of ancestral dream.
Beauty and balance are the common denominator that underlies every image of this sweetly visionary film, where trees are more than 400 years old, are inhabited by gods (so how can we not think of Avatar) and teach us to look up. Kyoto’s mother is a shaman. He sees things that others cannot see, yet through his eyes we can feel and understand their complexity. Kyoto itself lives more instinctively, swims naked or dressed, and lets itself be caressed by the wind as if it were talking to it. But he does not understand death, especially the imminent death of his mother, while Kaito cannot swim in the sea, “because she is alive”. They both learn something important about the mystery of existence and their own fears. They grow and truly discover the world, as if they wanted to look at something that is changing in the unrepeatable instant in which it happens for the first time. This explains the restlessness that also emerges in the camera movements, in the long camera cars, in the vibrations of the camera by hand. In a very brief flashback Kyoto sees in the kitchen the mother intent on preparing lunch. It is a moment of confusion without explanation, but capable, on its own, of impressing a sense of nostalgia impossible to forget in the film.
Cinema has rarely been able to touch the elements with such grace: air, water and earth live in the Kawase film which, not surprisingly, sets this magical story on an island where the inhabitants venerate nature as if it were a god. “It is said that beyond the sea there is a country called Neriyakanaya, source of all abundance, where the soul takes refuge after death” explains Kawase, which is why death cannot be frightening and the inhabitants of Amami celebrate it almost festive, with songs and memories to share together. This is why we observe the horizon on the sea as if to look for a trace of that mysterious land.