Thursday, May 10, 2007

Good Mourning

I’d never heard of Naomi Kawase (above) before the Cannes list came out a couple weeks ago. But after reading a bit of her bio, she seems like a cool person – someone we could hang out with and talk. The lead item in her bio on her official website says “Her love for basketball goes back to her junior high days. During her high school days, she became the captain of her school team and led the team to the National Athletic Meet.”

Much of her early acclaim came via documentaries, and she’s been feted by many film festivals around the globe. Her film Mogari No Mori (The Mourning Forest) was selected for competition at Cannes.

Little has been written about Mogari No Mori. The German Press Agency gives the best synopsis I’ve seen.

“The Forest of Mogari is set in an ancient Japanese capital of Nara and highlights a relationship between 70-year-old Shigeki, who suffers from memory loss and a cognitive disorder caused by senility and a 27-year-old caretaker Machiko.

“His longing for his deceased wife and Machiko's guilt at losing her son take them on a mourning journey through the serene forest of Mogari, where Shigeki's wife is buried. Mogari means the time or act of mourning.

“As the odd couple make their way to the graveyard, they contemplate the meaning of life and death.”