Directed by Naomi Kawase

Directed by Naomi Kawase

4 Episodes

Building from an early start in nonfiction filmmaking, Naomi Kawase has developed a lyrical, quietly affecting body of work over the past three decades, exploring Japanese family structures and cultural values through a profoundly empathetic lens. Describing her narrative works as “fiction with a documentarian’s gaze,” Kawase steeps her films in the beauty and sensual pleasures of the natural world, finding deep spiritual and philosophical resonances. Featuring the moving slice-of-life drama SWEET BEAN and the streaming premiere of Kawase’s latest, the heartrending family portrait TRUE MOTHERS, this sampler of some of Kawase’s recent films offers an introduction to an artist of supreme sensitivity and emotional insight.

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Directed by Naomi Kawase
  • Still the Water

    Episode 1

    Directed by Naomi Kawase • 2014 • Japan, France
    Starring Nijiro Murakami, Junko Abe, Miyuki Matsuda

    On the subtropical Japanese island of Amami, strong traditions surround nature. During the full-moon night of traditional dances in August, sixteen-year-old Kaito (Nijiro Murakami) discovers a dea...

  • Sweet Bean

    Episode 2

    Directed by Naomi Kawase • 2015 • Japan, France
    Starring Kirin Kiki, Masatoshi Nagase, Kyara Uchida

    Sweet bean is a delicious red bean paste, the sweet heart of the dorayaki pancakes that Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase) sells from his little bakery to a small but loyal clientele. Absorbed in sad memo...

  • Radiance

    Episode 3

    Directed by Naomi Kawase • 2017 • Japan, France
    Starring Masatoshi Nagase, Ayame Misaki, Tatsuya Fuji

    Lauded director Naomi Kawase explores the meaning of vision in this tender romantic drama. Misako (Ayame Misaki) is a passionate writer of film captions for the visually impaired. At a screening...

  • True Mothers

    Episode 4

    Directed by Naomi Kawase • 2020 • Japan
    Starring Hiromi Nagasaku, Arata Iura, Aju Makita

    After a long and unsuccessful struggle to get pregnant, Satoko (Hiromi Nagasaku) and her husband (Arata Iura) decide to adopt a child. Over the next six years, the middle-class couple and their young son, As...