Kawase's very personal style of film making previously yielded the atmospheric Suzaku and the sensitive Hotaru, films that are set in Kawase's birthplace Nara, like Shara. In this old city with its rich Buddhist history the breath of the forefathers, their pain and joy, is still tangible. For the protagonists in Shara, these echoes from the past mean hope for the future. During the summer Jizo Festival little Shun's twin brother Kei disappears. Five years later, the Aso family is still in a state of shock and denial. Father Taku, pregnant mother Reiko (played by Kawase Naomi herself) and Shun (now 17) are wrestling with their emotions, but carry on with their everyday life. Taku is busy getting ready for the annual street festival, Reiko is tending the garden, waiting for the baby to arrive and the introvert Shun is working on a life-size portrait of his missing brother. The family of Shun's girlfriend Yu are fighting undigested emotions as well. A successful festival, a birth and a revelation by Yu's mother mean a step forwards for everyone. On every level -from the sweet, melancholy and pure sound from composer UA, to the precise cutting and the lifelike characters -Shara is a film of calm intensity, filled with joie de vivre and a breathtakingly beautiful mood.

Original title
Shara sôju
Filmmaker
Kawase Naomi
Premiere
-
Country
Japan
Year
2003
Medium
35mm
Length
92’
Language
Japanese
Producer
Realproducts, Yoshiya Nagasawa
Sales
Pyramide International
Writer
Kawase Naomi
Cast
Kawase Naomi