Japanese, English, French
Standout Feature Film Cinematographer at Reelworld Film Festival, Toronto
The personal journey of a filmmaker seeking to reconnect with her estranged sister, a successful potter living in the ruins of Fukushima. Guided by the image of the former Queen Himiko, she discovers the source of the anguish in their relationship and finds, amidst the rubble and broken dreams of Fukushima, a voice that will allow them to bury their respective ghosts. An image of her spiritual quest to bring East and West, feminine and masculine, shadow and light together.
A word from Tënk
Kyoka Tsukamoto draws inspiration from an important female figure of ancient Japan: Queen Himiko, whose history has remained obscured beneath the patriarchal values of today’s society. She pays homage to her, notably through the soundtrack to her film that she herself composed, through her spiritual practice of piano playing that acts as a sort of bridge between east and west. Through her approach emerges what she describes as a hybrid documentary, stemming from her experimental film career. The narration–one that took the filmmaker eight years to write–guides the film throughout, taking the shape of a mix of intimate memories and interior monologue, rocking us in its soft simplicity in this in-between worlds while she, through her exploratory process, sets out to break down familial emotional barriers, childhood abuse taboos, the shame that can shut us up, and in so doing, dig deeply into suffering, all the while striving to retell tradition without rejecting its legacies. Whilst Queen Himiko is a source of inspiration, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster the trigger for creation, here, the story of two sisters acts as a pretext to tell of many other things. And we spectators follow all of this aboard a train that drives us sometimes forwards, other times backwards, carried by the invisible course of destiny, side-by-side with the filmmaker upon her return to Japan, as she questions her identity: where can her true roots be found?
Tënk's Artistic Director