Maboroshi no hikari

  • 110'
  • Japan
  • 1995
At the age of twelve, Yumiko lost her grandmother. She is now 25 and married to Ikuo. When Ikuo came into her life, he was in a way the reincarnation of her grandma - so much was Yumiko tormented by memories of the day when she died. Yumiko has a son, Yuichi. The days pass quietly until one day Ikuo commits suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. In this way, Yumiko again loses a lover. All he left behind was his bicycle key. Five years later, Yumiko remarries with Tamio, who lives in a small village in Oku-Noto. Tamio has an 8-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, Tomoko; his wife is dead. As the summer approaches, Yumiko calms down a lot. Six months later she returns to her birthplace for her brother's wedding. Her sorrow at loving Ikuo again possesses her. When an old fisherwoman doesn't seem to return from the sea one winter morning, Yumiko feels guilty. Tamio tells her later about the beautiful ocean light (Maboroshi) that lures people into the sea. Film-maker Kore-Eda wanted to express people's lives in his film using subtle changes in light and shade and using the surroundings: windows, engawa (Japanese verandas), stairs and tunnels. He chose Chen Ming-chiang as composer, the resident composer for the films of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, to provide mood music for the film. Esumi Makiko, who played the lead, is one of Japan's top models.
Kore-eda Hirokazu
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 1996
International title
TV Man Union, Inc., Gozu Naoe
TV Man Union, Inc., Celluloid Dreams
Asano Tadanobu
Local Distributor
Argus Film bv (distribution)