Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom

(“Tsuioku no dansu”)
Director: Kawase Naomi

2002 Japanese Subtitled in English Color Video 65 min

Production Company: Visual Arts College, Sent Inc., Kumie
Photography: KAWASE Naomi
Editing: ANRAKU Shotaro, KAWASE Naomi
Appearances: NISHII Kazuo, NISHII Chizuko
  International Sales: Sent Inc.
3F, 2-14-2 Shitaya, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0004 JAPAN
Phone: 81-3-5824-1127
Fax: 81-3-5824-1128
E-mail: noirmam@sepia.ocn.ne.jp

[Festivals and prizes] Yamagata IDFF 2003

[Synopsis] The final days of Nishii Kazuo, photography critic who was a driving force behind Japan’s photography world. Nishii, who only has a few months to live, asks the director Kawase to film him. Shaken, she begins her regular visits to his bedside from the following day. The director talks to him with her video camera rolling as Nishii desperately tries to respond. Nishii himself has a still camera in hand, and clicks the shutter on director Kawase while she films. The exchange between the filmmaker and the film-object weaves a “memory of time shared” that continues to live on.


Born in Nara City in 1969. Graduated from the Faculty of Film of the Osaka School of Photography (currently the Visual Arts College) in 1989. Embracing (1992) won the FIPRESCI Prize Special Mention and Katatsumori (1994) was awarded the New Asian Currents’ Award of Excellence, both as part of the YIDFF ’95 New Asian Currents program. Became the youngest ever recipient of the Camera d’ Or (for best feature film by a new director) at the Cannes Film Festival for Suzaku (1996). The Weald (1997, shown at YIDFF ’97), Hotaru (2000), Kya Ka Ra Ba A (2001) and most of her other films have been shown at international film festivals and have received many prizes. Retrospectives of her films held at the 2000 Nyon International Film Festival, the 2002 Infinity Film Festival, and the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, sponsored by the Musée d’ Art Modern de la Ville Paris. Has published the novels Suzaku and Hotaru (Gentosha.) Also directs commercials and music videos. In 2003 Shara was shown in the competition section at the Cannes Film Festival and has attracted attention since its release in Japan.

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