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Japan, 1995 (MIFF 1996, Contemporary World Cinema )

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

The fundamental and universal human experience of mourning and regeneration is rendered with quietly gathered power in this wonderful film about a young woman who believes that she brings death to those she loves Kore-eda's first him is in a contemplative, classically Japanese style that aspires to express life of the spirit.There is never the sense that the pictures are pushing things along here. The camera is watchful, the compositions distilling the nuances of an intensely physical world that Includes rhe human character. Though the sadness that begins Maborosi is shattering, those who are absorbed by its precise, watchful contemplation of the world are likely to find the moment of epiphany that ends the film immensely satisfying.

'A visually lush, poetic tale of love and loss with a touch of mystery. Kore-eda's film features a stunning performance by newcomer Esuml Makiko as Yumiko Moving between city and country, the young widow's intense quest to understand her husband's death is conveyed in exquisitely photographed extended scenes. Harking back to the golden era of Japanese cinema. Kore-eda's remarkable use of light, space and stillness perceptively conveys the lives and emotions of his characters. The result is a film of great cinematic beauty and narrative elegance"

* New Directors/New Films, 1996

'The deepest darkness is that of 'losing' control over me mind. Then suddenly a light shines inside the heart. I will be pleased it the audience realizes that this film is a document of the 'light and shadow' which flicker inside a woman'

* Hirokazu Kore-eda

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