Archive of films Faces of a Fig Tree / Ichijiku no kao
2006, 94 min
Section: Another View
This distinctive screenwriting and directorial debut of Japanese actress Kaori Momoi depicts the life of a Japanese family of four and the interaction between them, above all, between the father, mother and daughter. The film is constructed upon a series of sophisticated images.
In the Kadowaki family garden there stands a fig tree which has never borne fruit. The daughter Yumo hangs her camera on one of its branches and, using the delayed action shutter release, takes pictures of her father, mother, younger brother and herself having supper in the garden. Theirs is a tranquil, well-ordered family life. One day the father, who works on a building site, moves into an unfurnished flat in order to be nearer work so that, at night, he can patch up the mistakes made by his colleagues during the day. However, he ends up paying for his conscientious efforts with his life. The mother, who has until now stayed at home looking after the family, has to start again… This remarkable film is the directorial debut of Japanese actress Kaori Momoi, who based her screenplay on the literary serial of the same name and on four short stories. It is composed of a sequence of refined and somewhat mysterious images, set to minimalist electronic music. Particularly striking is the performance of Kaori Momoi in the role of the mother, her mind set only on running the house.
About the director
Kaori Momoi (b. 1952, Tokyo) studied for three years at the British Royal Academy of Ballet and at the Bungakuza School of Dramatic Art. She debuted in film as an actress in 1971 and since then has appeared in almost sixty film roles, which won her a number awards at home and two prizes abroad. She became recognised outside her country, in particular, for her portrayal of Mother, the owner of a geisha house in the successful film by Rob Marshall Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). She has also appeared in Alexander Sokurov’s film The Sun (2005). She has been living in Los Angeles since 2005. Momoi also designs jewellery, she is a singer and a writer. With the film Faces of a Fig Tree (2006), she debuts as a screenwriter and director.
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About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Dir. of Photography:||Shinji Kugimiya|
|Production:||Agora Co., Ltd.|
|Cast:||Hanako Yamada, Saburo Ishikura, Kaori Momoi, Katsumi Takahashi, Ryo Iwamatsu, Ken Mitsuishi|
|Contact:||Open Sesame Co., Ltd.|