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One of the finest films of Japanese cinema, Hirokazu Kore-eda's first feature film Maborosi is a story of love, loss, and ultimately, regeneration.
Haunted by the mysterious loss of her grandmother many years ago, a beautiful young mother (Yumiko, played by Makiko Esumi) 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 elegent camerawork makes Maborosi one of the most striking visual works in cinema.