With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Saturday, March 17, 2012

ACF 1385: Documentary double-feature at Asia Society tomorrow

Up Close and Personal: Naomi KAWASE
(Two films screened in one program)
 When: Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM
Where: Asia Society
725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), NYC
Asia Society's film series Extreme Private Ethos: Japanese Documentaries, curated by La Frances Hui. resumes tomorrow afternoon with these two works by Naomi Kawase. In her work family has been a central theme. Abandoned as an infant by her parents, who had already separated at the time of the filmmaker’s birth, Kawase was adopted and raised by her great uncle and aunt. The abandonment has left a major scar in the filmmaker. Many of Kawase’s documentaries confront issues of identity and family in an attempt to deal with the void she has felt since childhood.

Directed by
Japan. 1992, 40 minutes, Color, 16mm.
Against the advice of family members, filmmaker Kawase sets out to search for the father she has never met. As the filmmaker looks up old photographs and public registries to locate her father, a sense of loneliness and quiet perseverance permeates the screen. Made when Kawase was 23 years old, Embracing charts a deeply emotional journey filled with pain, emptiness and longing. (A Kumie, Inc. film. Print courtesy of Japan Foundation.)
Directed by
Japan, 2006, 43 minutes, Color, Digibeta.
Bearing her own child for the first time, filmmaker Kawase reflects on the themes of motherhood, family, and the cycle of life as she films the great aunt who adopted and raised her. Called Grandma by the filmmaker, Uno is 90 years old and ailing, evident in the uncompromising exposure of her fragile body. The documentary shows the two women fighting, as Kawase complains about her lonely childhood, and their subsequent reconciliation. At once brutal and tender, the film reveals a complex mother-daughter relationship. "Tarachime" refers to "birth mother" in Japanese. (A Kumie, Inc. film.)

“[Tarachime is] a beautiful and breathtaking work of art…of the most marvelous simplicity.”—Natalia Ames, Nisimazine

“[Her films] are about life… Kawase just took your hands and led you to her garden. It is an intimate journey, a generous gesture.”—Apichatpong Weerasethakul , filmmaker (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, 2010)

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