Japan, 2020, 140 min, Dir. Naomi Kawase, Not Rated, Japanese with English subtitles, Film Movement
"The latest film from the prolific Japanese director Naomi Kawase is a rewarding drama which weaves together knotted maternal bonds and textured character portraits. An elegant, absorbing piece of storytelling, its universal themes and a tone which conveys empathy without tipping into sentimentality." —Wendy Ide, Screen Daily
"True Mothers is one of Naomi Kawase's best films to date, a thoughtful drama about the shame associated with unconventional motherhood." —Alex Heeney, Seventh Row
Viewing Window: 72 hours
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After a long and unsuccessful struggle to get pregnant, Satoko (Hiromi Nagasaku) and her husband (Kiyokazu Kurihara) decide to adopt a child. Over the next six years, the middle-class couple and their young son Asato settle into a comfortable, albeit routine, life. The family’s orderly existence is shattered by the arrival of Hikari (Aju Makita), a young woman claiming to be Asato’s biological mother, demanding his return. As tensions mount, Satoko grows more and more emboldened to defend her family. Weaving together multiple timelines and genres with a contemplative pacing and keen sense of place, hallmarks of Kawase’s work, True Mothers “is a deeply touching celebration of women who assume duties of love, support and compassion” (Awards Watch).
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