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The Mourning Forest (Mogari no mori)

Modern Masters

Naomi Kawase / Feature Narrative / Japan, France / 2007 / 97 min / Colour / 35mm
In Japanese / Arabic, English subtitles
Interests: Drama
Qatar Premiere
Rated: Parental guidance is advised for viewers under the age of 13. Individuals under the age of 13 are not admitted into cinemas unless accompanied by an individual aged 18 or older.

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Machiko, a young nurse, has just taken on a new job as a carer at a retirement home, where the residents are quietly edging their way into dementia. Among them is Shigaki, with whom Machiko slowly develops a close bond after some initial adversity. While Machiko privately mourns the death of her young son, Shigaki openly continues to miss his late wife, who died nearly 33 years ago. He is especially moved at this time, as he is desperate to bid his beloved a last farewell.

As a birthday treat, Machiko takes Shigaki out for a drive. When the car goes off the road, Machiko goes for help, but Shigaki wanders off into the beautiful, at times treacherous forest, seemingly in search of his wife’s burial site. Machiko follows, but the pair become lost and must spend the next two days battling with Nature and their personal distress.

With ‘The Mourning Forest’, director Naomi Kawase returns to her signature themes of broken families, lost loved ones, nature and mourning, in a work that is quietly moving and punctuated with moments of childlike joy. The liberal use of a handheld, observational camera gives the film an extraordinarily naturalistic and intimate feel as we accompany two tormented souls on a journey to peace.

About the Director

Naomi Kawase was born in Nara, Japan. In 1997, she became the youngest winner of the Camera d’Or in the history of the Festival de Cannes for her first feature ‘Suzaku.’ Since then, her films have won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Locarno Film Festival (‘Hotaru’, 2000), the Grand Prix at Cannes (‘The Mourning Forest,’ 2007) and the Carrosse d’Or from the Directors’ Fortnight in 2009. ‘An’ opened the Un Certain Regard section at the Festival de Cannes in 2015. Her latest film 'Radiance', won the Ecumenical Jury Prize, Cannes International Film Festival in 2017.


Naomi Kawase
Naomi Kawase
Naomi Kawase
Yuji Oshige, Tina Baz
Associate Producer
Christian Baute, Shunji Dodo
Production Designer
Toshihiro Isomi
Executive Producer
Hengameh Panahi
Masamichi Shigeno
Hideyo Nakano
Sales Company
Celluloid Dreams
Production Company
Kumie Inc., Celluloid Dreams Productions, Visual Arts College Osaka
Shigetake Ao, David Vranken, Vincent Mauduit
Shigeki Uda, Machiko Ono, Makiko Watanabe, Yoichiro Saito, Kanako Masuda

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