Thursday 1 Oct 16:00


106 mins

Director: Naomi Kawase Country: Japan
Writer: Naomi Kawase Original Format: 35mm
Dir. of Photography: Masami Inomoto Print Source: Kumie Inc.
Producer: Takenori Sentô
Cast: Yuko Nakamura, Toshiya Nagasawa

Film Details

UK Premiere

Short Synopsis:

A naturalistically-shot romantic drama between a stripper and traditional craftsman played out against the four seasons in the scenic Nara region by the Cannes Award winning director Naomi Kawase.


Hotaru, meaning ‘firefly’, is a naturalistically-shot piece of visual poetry that blurs the line between documentary and fiction in its depiction of an intense yet troubled love affair between two emotionally-scarred individuals, striptease artiste, Ayako, abandoned by her mother as a child, anda gruff traditional potter Daiji. The drama is played out against the changing seasons in the villages and farmlands of the Nara region, where Kawase herself grew up. The tension between memories, ancient traditions and an uncertain future play a key role in the developing relationship, in this deeply heartfelt and beautifully-shot feature.

Director Naomi Kawase came onto the scene in a major way with Suzaku, which went on to win the Camera d’Or in Cannes in 1997. She was this year’s recipient of the same festival’s Carrosse d’Or award for lifetime achievement in film. After a couple of documentaries, this second commercial feature was widely hailed as a classic of arthouse cinema upon its original release in 2000, but since then it has been stuck in a distribution limbo following the collapse of its original production company. This screening, in a new version re-edited from its original 164 minutes, is the first time the film has aired in the United Kingdom.


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