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Drama 1h 35m 1997


Amidst billowing trees and the gentle rustling of golden-hued thickets, Suzaku entrenches itself in a forgotten way of life nestled deep within the mountainous stretches of Nara Prefecture—a natural paradise untouched by the ripples of modernization, existing as a world unto itself. Along winding dirt paths and gravel roads, the continual exodus of locals and a now-abandoned railroad project haunt the depressed town of Nishiyoshino-mura, the forestry village which teenager Michiru (Machiko Ono) and her family call home. When tragedy strikes, this small-town family must overcome the day-to-day struggles of quotidian life. Taking its title from the ancient Chinese deity known to be the guardian of the south, Suzaku is a natural extension of Kawase’s small-gauge documentary beginnings, brimming with the true realities and hardships of the region and gorgeously shot on 16mm.

  • Camera d’or, 1997 Cannes Film Festival
  • FIPRESCI Prize, 1997 International Film Festival Rotterdam

“This acutely observed minimalist drama washes over the audience in gentle brush strokes, creating a portrait of uncommon poignancy.”—Variety

Streaming in the U.S. and Canada from December 3-23 as part of Flash Forward: Debut Works and Recent Films by Notable Japanese Directors | Rent together with Kawase’s Vision for only $15!


Naomi Kawase

Bonus Content

Introduction by Naomi Kawase

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