Archive for November 2006

The Secret Life of Naomi Kawase

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By Nuno Sena

As main guest of doclisboa 2006 special programme on contemporary Japanese documentary, aptly titled »Minimal Stories«, Naomi Kawase was eagerly waited by both the public and the festival’s team (of which I’m also part of as a programmer). After having seen some of her films, namely her very first-person documentaries, you can almost become convinced that you know all about her, that in some way you’ve already been introduced to her even if only through cinema. But you don’t. No matter how much self-exposure she allows or forces into her films, the truth is that she’s still keeping a lot to herself.

She arrived in Lisbon accompanied by her husband and their 2 year-old son, who stars in her latest film Tarachime and who has now become an indistinguishable part of her life and work. She wouldn’t have come unless she would bring her close family. Understandably, since her life story is profoundly marked by her mother and father’s absences (in his case even from before her birth), leaving a hole in her heart that has been at the centre of both her fictional and documentary work. You can only guess how her inescapable attachment to her own child is some kind of compensation to her own previous deprivation of normal family bonds (except from the loving grandmother who raised her and who appears in Katatsumori and in some other films).
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Written by Nika Bohinc

November 20, 2006 at 7:14 pm