by Naomi Kawase
Country: Japan
Year: 2008
Duration: 90'

When she arrives in Thailand, Saiko, who is Japanese, is tired from
her trip and falls asleep in a taxi. When she wakes up in the middle
of a forest, she thinks that the driver, who speaks a language she can’t
understand, wants to hurt her and she runs away. As she flees she
bumps into a young Frenchman, who calms her down and takes her
to the house where he lives with a Thai woman, his son and the very
same taxi driver, who is the woman’s brother. Saiko starts a new life
in this family-community, which lives according to Buddhist precepts.
She learns Thai massage and the rhythms of nature, even though they
don’t share a common language they can communicate in. One day
she meets a group of monks and one of them becomes a recurring
presence in her dreams.

Nanayo details the human drama that unfolds as different people
of different nationalities happen to come together under one roof in a
house in the middle of the forest. Lacking a common language, the art
of traditional Thai massage becomes the tool they use to comunicate
and slowly gain an understanding of each other.”


film director

Naomi Kawase

Naomi Kawase (Nara, Japan, 1969) studied at the Osaka School of Photography, where she graduated in 1989. Between 1988 and 1997 she made numerous shorts, medium-length films and autobiographical documentaries. Her first feature film, Suzaku, won the Caméra d’or at the 50th Cannes Film Festival.  She then made Firefly, which won the FIPRESCI Award and the C.I.C.A.E. Award at Locarno in 2000, as well as documentaries like Sky, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth or Birth/Mother. In 2007, she directed The Mourning Forest, which won the Special Grand Jury Prize at Cannes. She is president of the Nara International Film Festival. Hanezu screened in competition at Cannes.  


filmografia essenziale/essential filmography

Ni tsutsumarete (Embracing, cm, doc., 1992), Katatsumori (mm, doc., 1994), Ten, mitake (See Heaven, cm, doc., 1995), Moe no suzaku (Suzaku, 1997), The Weald (doc., 1997), Manguekyo (doc., 1999), Hotaru (Firefly, 2000), Kya ka ra ba a (Sky, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth, mm, doc., 2001), Tsuioku no dansu (Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom, doc., 2003), Sharasojyu (Shara, 2003), Tarachime (Birth/Mother, cm, doc., 2006), Mogari no mori (The Mourning Forest, 2007), Nanayomachi (Seven Nights, 2008), Koma (mm, 2009), In Between Days (mm, doc., 2009), Genpin (doc., 2010), Hanezu no tsuki (Hanezu, 2011). 


& Credits

Naomi Kawase
Kyoko Inumai,
Naomi Kawase
Caroline Champetier
montaggio/film editing
Naomi Kawase,
Dominique Auvray,
Yusuke Kaneko
David Vranken,
Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr
interpreti e personaggi/
cast and characters
Kyoko Hasegawa (Saiko),
Grégoire Colin (Greg),
Jun Murakami (il monaco
di bell’aspetto/
Good Looking Monk),
Kittipoj Mankang (Marvin),
Netsai Todoroki (Amari),
Yohei Todoroki (Toi)
Yoshiya Nagasawa
Local Color Films,
vendita all’estero/
world sales
Open Sesame Co.