Kya Ka Ra Ba A

Director: KAWASE Naomi

2001 Japanese Subtitled in French, English Color Video 50 min

Production Company: Sent Inc. + Kumie
Producer: in association with ARTE France
Photography: KAWASE Naomi, INOMOTO Masami
Sound: KIKUCHI Nobuyuki
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[Festivals and prizes] Locarno 2001, Pusan 2001, Rotterdam 2002

[Synopsis] Kawase returns to her personal documentary roots, while testing an entirely new filmmaking approach.
Japan’s most famous female filmmaker’s first collaboration with a non-Japan producer, this film at a glance seems like a sequel to Embracing. It opens with her father’s death and at first investigates her family history through reviewing her filmmaking career. Her early films about her family, her international debut at Cannes, marital problems and creative deadlock... A sudden break from her trademark style, a dramatic devise is inserted in the second half of the film. She visits a tattoo artist, and asks for an elaborate tattoo covering her back like her father. The tattoo artist, in a fatherly way, gives her advise on the philosophy of life and art-creation.


Born 1969 in Nara prefecture. Graduated from the Osaka School of Photography in 1989. Starting her career in 8mm works like Embracing (1993) and Katatsumori (1994), her first fiction film Suzaku wins the Camera D’Or at Cannes 1997 and many other international prizes. Her next film, The Weald is a non-fiction portrayal of elderly people living in the mountains of Nishi-yoshino, Nara. In 1999, Mangue-kyo is premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Her fiction film Hotaru won two prizes at Locarno in 2000. Suzaku and Hotaru have been novelized by the filmmaker herself.

KAWASE Naomi | Mangue-kyo | Kya Ka Ra Ba A | Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom | Shadow