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also known as Maboroshi no hikari


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  • 4.3
One of the finest films of Japanese cinema, Hirokazu Kore-eda's first feature film is a story of love, loss and ultimately, regeneration. Haunted by the mysterious loss of her grandmother many years ago, a beautiful young mother struggles to come to terms with the sudden loss of her husband. Yumiko remarries and with her young son moves to her new husband's home in a remote village on the wild, untamed Sea of Japan. There, she is haunted by the past, but with time and the natural wonders around her, she awakens to find love, understanding and a sense of peace. Perhaps the finest Japanese director working today, Kore-eda has gone on to create such masterpieces as AFTER LIFE, NOBODY KNOWS and STILL WALKING. His feature films reflect back on his beginnings in documentary with a regard to truth and a incredibly humane sense of his characters' strength and fallibilities. Working with almost entirely natural lighting, Kore-eda's remarkable and elegant camerawork makes MABOROSI one of the most striking visual works in cinema.

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2 members like this review

With the pathos, coiled drama, and painterly framing of an Ozu masterpiece, this movie speaks in its silences and shadow. A truly beautiful work.

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Member Reviews (7)

With the pathos, coiled drama, and painterly framing of an Ozu masterpiece, this movie speaks in its silences and shadow. A truly beautiful work.

2 members like this review
top reviewer

Filmed utilizing only natural light, but conforming to clearly well thought out visual framing -- Hirokazu Koreeda unfolds this story in the most unusual of ways. The movie feels as if it might be an early spin on what we came to call "Mumblecore" into the 00's. However the sense of the casual and the improvised is anything but.

"Maborosi" is a carefully crafted work of film art that lulls the viewer into a woman's internal quest to understand two tragic events in her life. In some ways the film operates as a mystery grounded in sadness. It is impossible not to relate to this film on an emotional level.

It may start as a challenging movie, but it quickly reveals itself to be an engrossing experience.

1 member likes this review

A brilliant film for viewers with patience and compassion.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

very reminiscent of Ozu yes

top reviewer

Yumiko is beautiful so is the film_really sweet (sometimes painful) but a beautiful film poem_4 1/2 almost 5 for me

A beautiful and melancholy movie. Breathtaking cinematography and score.

A masterpiece,what else can be said? It was great to revisit Kore-Eda's first film 20 years later. Although much sadder and somber than his later efforts, this keeps the humanistic tone that his more recent movies have i.e. detailed observation of the impact and reaction of major events in people's lives. Astonishing shots, a master still going strong.