Japanese director Kawase Naomi (The Mourning Forest, 2007) makes films in which ordinary folk come to face existential pressure in their lives and have to find a way to cope and come to terms with loss. Aided by the contemplation of nature, with its beauty and cyclical pattern of death and resurrection.
In An, a food stall selling dorayaki (pancakes filled with the sweet red-bean paste an) is surrounded by cherry trees. The grumpy stallholder Sentaro doesn’t pay them any mind, until the older Tokue (Kiki Kirin), whom he hesitatingly takes on as assistant, draws his attention to their foliage, which transforms according to the seasons during the film, from blossom to falling leaves. Tokue (who just like Sentaro harbours a secret), with her cooking skills shown in close-up, and regular Wakana (Uchida Kyara, Kiki’s granddaughter) bring new life into the eatery. A quiet story, told in a naturalistic style, around a fundamental question: what is worthwhile in life as it is lived from day to day?

Filmmaker
Kawase Naomi
Country
Japan, France, Germany
Year
2015
Medium
DCP
Length
113’
Language
Japanese
Producer
Masa Sawada, Fukushima Koichiro, Thanassis Karathanos, Yoshito Oyama
Production Company
Comme des Cinémas, Nagoya Broadcasting Network, Twenty Twenty Vision
Sales
MK2
Writer
Kawase Naomi
Cinematography
Akiyama Shigeki
Editor
Tina Baz
Production Design
Heya Kyoko
Sound Design
Roman Dymny
Music
David Hadjadj
Cast
Kiki Kirin, Masatoshi Nagase
Website
http://kawasenaomi.com