Birth / Mother


Narození / Matka

  • Naomi Kawase
  • Japan
  • 2006, 43 min
Photography: Naomi Kawase
Editing: Naomi Kawase, Takefuji Kayo
Sound: Naomi Kawase
Color: Colour
Language: Japanese

On 24 April 2004 the Japanese director Naomi Kawase gave birth to a son, Mitsumi. In accordance with tradition, she gave birth to her child on a mat with the aid of an assistant and surrounded by her loved ones. Although she had originally wanted to record only the experience of life emerging within her body, she continued to film for over a year after the birth. _ The docu-journal form of the film allows the director to reflect on the world with confiding whispers. The film is an emotional pendulum that swings between moments in life and past and present feelings. At the same time it works with the powerful images of a warm and bloody human body. _ Even the birth itself is filmed with an open approach. We see her body opening up preparing to bring new life into the world. We see the mat soak with amniotic fluid. We witness the umbilical cord being cut. _ Tarachime is the word for mother in old Japanese. The director never knew her mother and was raised by her grandmother. Pregnant, she returns to the ninety-year-old woman: her naked, lined breasts symbolising the director's future motherhood. _ The grandmother's death is part of the river of time, but the documentary sets out against its current. Shots of the pulsating ultrasound of the unborn child and of the stark grave bind the film to form an intersection between the paths of the living and what the dead leave behind.

Photo Gallery

Festival edition: 2006
Sections: Opus Bonum
Awards: Special Mention of the Opus Bonum Jury
Exhibition format: BetaSP PAL
Subtitle languages: English


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