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51st Directors’ Fortnight May 15-25, 2019

Moe No Suzaku

Fortnight 1997, Feature film, 1 h 35

Synopsis

Nishiyosino-mura is a village in a forest famous for its Yoshino cedars. Kozo Tahara is the head of a family that has worked in forestry for generations. In 1971, the economic crisis hits the village, forcing many of its inhabitants to leave. That same year a project to build an access tunnel to the village is announced. Kozo, who lives modestly with his mother Sachiko, his wife Yasuyo and his nephew, Eisuke, whose mother left the village, and his beloved little girl, Michiru, is excited by the tunnel project. Byt halfway through construction, the tunnel is abandonned. 15 years pass. The Tahara family now lives on the edge of poverty and is financially dependent on Eisuke : he works in a bar outside the village. Yasuyo has taken a part-time job in this same bar. Michiru is now a teenager and her feelings for Eisuke, whom she has always love as a brother, undergo a change. As for Eisuke, separated from his mother since childhood, he develops a deep affection for Yasuyo. One fine day, Kozo leaves the house with his favorite 8mm camera’

Director

Naomi Kawase

By presenting Naomi Kawase with the « Carrosse d’Or » (Golden Coach) prize, the SRF pays tribute to the work of an independant director considered as one of the most important Japanese filmakers, whose films have initiated a deep renewal. But there is a bond even deeper, more secretive and quasi intimate, that ties the SRF directors to Naomi Kawase. Opening the way for a cinema that explores the interstices and the boundaries and that oscillates between the possibilities of different worlds, it’s when her first film, Suzaku, was selected at the Directors’ Fortnight, that Kawase was awarded with the Golden Camera in Cannes in 1997. Her singular and international career as a director thus started. Born in 1969 in Nara, Japan, Naomi Kawase first directed experimental features while teaching at the prestigious Osaka School of Photography from which she graduated, before being internationally acknowledged with her first documentary feature, Embracing (Ni Tsutsumarete, 1992), in which she goes looking for her father. In 2002, her complete work is showed in Paris at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume. From Shara (2003) to Nanayomachi (2008), from Sky, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth (Kya Ka Ra Ba A, 2001) to The Mourning Forest (Mogari no Mori, Grand Prize at the 2007 Cannes film festival), she recreates a unique cinematographical path through her daring and demanding work. Pascale Krief, French director

Jun Kunimura
Kotaro Shibata
Machiko Ono
Sachiko Izumi
Yasuyo Kamimura

Screenplay
Naomi Kawase

Image
Masaki Tamura

Sound
Osamu Takizawa

Editing
Shuichi Kakesu

Music
Masamichi Shigeno

Set decoration
Etsuko Ypshida

PRODUCTION : Bitters End Inc. 101 Villa New Century, 10-5 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150 Tél. : (81-3) 3462 0345 Fax : (81-3) 3462 0621 VENTE A L’ETRANGER : Seawell Films 45, rue Pierre Charon, 75008 Paris Tél. : 01 47 20 18 73 Fax : 01 47 20 15 43

Title in Original Version : Suzaku

Awards

Caméra d’or