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Events - 02.24.2021 - 03.10.2021

Film Screening | True Mothers

Date

02.24.2021 (Wed.) - 03.10.2021 (Wed.)

Time

Available at your leisure

Location

Online

Fee

Complimentary (Registration required)

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is honored to offer a special screening of Naomi Kawase’s film True Mothers, which has been selected to represent Japan for 2021 Oscar consideration in the International Film category. This is only the third time in 67 submissions that Japan has chosen a film directed by a woman to represent the country. The critically acclaimed film first premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.

Synopsis
True Mothers, adapted from the novel by Mizuki Tsujimura, is a compelling story with unexpected twists about adoption and motherhood. Set in modern-day Tokyo, a couple who is unable to conceive a child after struggling with infertility is presented with an alternative option. Satoko and her husband, Kiyokazu, are at a crossroads in their journey to parenthood; not wanting to seek invasive fertility treatments. A solution comes to them in a tv commercial promoting an adoption organization in Hiroshima. Through the organization, the couple adopts a baby boy, Asato, who ultimately completes their family and fulfills their dream to become parents.

The story of Hikari, Asato’s birthmother, is interwoven throughout the film, showing how their lives ultimately intersect, as well as highlighting the contrasts between the characters and their circumstances. Hikari, a young girl of 14 when she becomes pregnant, is sent to the adoption organization where she gives birth to her baby. The twist in the story, which is actually presented earlier in the film, occurs when Asato is a happy six-year-old, and Hikari reappears in their lives demanding him back.
 

Director Profile

Naomi Kawase
Born in Nara, Japan, Naomi Kawase graduated from Osaka University of the Arts in 1989. Her documentaries Embracing (1992) and Escargot (1994) received international recognition and were awarded at the 1995 Yamagata Documentary Film Festival. In 1997, she became the youngest winner of the Camera d’or for her first feature Suzaku, presented at the Directors’ Fortnight. In 2000, Firefly won both the FIPRESCI and the CICAE Prizes at the Locarno Film Festival. Then followed a series of feature films selected for competition at the Cannes Film Festival: Shara (2003), The Mourning Forest (Grand Prix 2007), Hanezu (2011) and Still the Water (2014). Sweet Red Bean Paste was selected as the opening film for the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. Naomi Kawase has also been recognized for her accomplishments in documentary filmmaking. Among other honors, she has received the Carrosse d’or from the Directors’ Fortnight (2009) and was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture (2015). She was a member of the Jury headed by Steven Spielberg at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Retrospective exhibitions of Kawase’s work have been organized all over Europe, including at the Jeu de Paume in Paris (2002). In 2010, she founded the International Nara Film Festival, dedicated to promoting the work of young directors.

 

Related Program


Mothers and Film Making | An Evening with award-winning director Naomi Kawase and Claudia Puig

Naomi Kawase and Claudia Puig headshots
             Naomi Kawase photographed by Leslie Kee
Date

03.02.2021 (Tue.)

Time

05:00 PM - 06:00 PM (PST)

Location

Online

Fee

Complimentary (Registration required)

The screening will be accompanied by a live discussion with award-winning Director Naomi Kawase, who will join virtually from Japan, and Claudia Puig, President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. They will discuss Kawase’s work on True Mothers while also exploring the theme of “Mothers and Film Making.”

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