Kawase Naomi is one of those rare film makers who doesn't make a distinction between fiction and documentary. This film she made tends more towards fiction, but then fiction with an alienating effect. The film won a major prize in Cannes and that is unusual for a strange film.
The Mourning Forest has two special roles. Or actually three. Machiko Ono plays Machiko, a volunteer in a small nursing home. On a trip outside the home she gets lost in an immense forest with one of the patients, the elderly and confused Shigeki (played by an amateur actor). That turns out to be less than accidental when the old man consciously sets out to look for the grave of his long dead wife. During the journey, Machiko has to travel to the limits of her own abilities and as an actress she is basically on her own, because Shigeki seems to be primarily locked up in himself. Machiko and Shigeki each do very well in their own way, but the real protagonist is the forest. A dark green and dripping wet forest that seems to have existed since time immemorial and hides an infinite number of secrets. Two confused souls and an old forest - not really very much to make a striking film. Kawase did not need any more to convince the international jury at Cannes. A great prize for a great forest. (GjZ)




Original title
Mogari no mori
Filmmaker
Kawase Naomi
Country
Japan
Year
2007
Medium
35mm
Length
97’
Language
Japanese
Producer
Kawase Naomi
Production Company
Kumie Inc., Celluloid Dreams, Visual Arts College Osaka
Sales
Celluloid Dreams
Writer
Kawase Naomi
Cinematography
Hideyo Nakano
Editor
Oshige Yuji, Tina Baz
Production Design
Isomi Toshihiro
Sound Design
David Vranken, Vincent Maduit, Shigetake Ao
Music
Shigeno Masamichi
Cast
Saito Yoichiro, Uda Shigeki
Website
http://celluloid-dreams.com/celluloid_dreams_library/m_r/mourning_forest