Archive of films Chronicle of My Mother / Waga haha no ki

2011, 118 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2012

This intimate and poetic drama, unfolding over the course of four seasons, takes a sensitive look at a family who are trying to straighten out their relationships with their aging grandmother. The traditional theme of conflict between parents and children, which Yasujiro Ozu treated in his films, helps us to become aware of our own values and attitudes to old age.


Life has been good to Kosaku. He is a successful writer and has three fine daughters. When he and his sisters begin arguing about who should look after their aging mother, one of his daughters suggests she come and live with them. The new situation brings with it an unexpected change as Kosaku, who was not in fact brought up by his mother and has never got on well with her, begins to establish a bond. Ironically, this happens just as the two daughters decide they can no longer stand her and her infantile outbursts. The relationship between children and their aging parents is a familiar theme in Japanese cinema, and Masato Harada’s film is very much in the tradition of personal dramas from the Shochiku studios and director Yasujiro Ozu. Slowly and subtly the film reveals the past of the various characters as they struggle to come to terms with painful memories and find joy in the present moment. And as the mother slowly loses her memory, her son discovers unexpected emotions from the past.

About the director

Masato Harada (b. 1949, Numazu) is an experienced Japanese screenwriter and director who was also a successful film critic and columnist. He debuted in 1979 with the love story Farewell, Movie Friend: Indian Summer (Saraba eiga no tomoyo: Indian samaa). The most interesting entries in his filmography include the political thriller Kamikaze Taxi (Kamikaze takushî, 1995), the psychological drama Bounce Ko Gals (Baunsu ko gaurusu, 1997 – five awards at the Yokohama IFF), the political drama Spellbound (Kinyu Fushuku Retto Jubake, 1999), the horror film Inugami (2001 – Jury Prize at the Newport IFF), and the drama Climber’s High (Kuraimâzu hai, 2008). He gained the favor of Western audiences as an actor in the Tom Cruise adventure vehicle The Last Samurai (2003).


Shochiku Co., Ltd.
4-1-1 Tsukiji, Togeki Bldg. 12th Floor, Chuo-Ku, 104 8422, Tokyo
Tel: +81 355 501 623
Fax: +81 355 501 654

About the film

Color, 35 mm
European premiere

Section: Horizons
Director: Masato Harada
Screenplay: Masato Harada podle románu / based on the novel by Yasushi Inoue
Dir. of Photography: Akiko Ashizawa
Music: Harumi Fuki, Johann Sebastian Bach
Editor: Eugene Harada
Producer: Yoshitaka Ishizuka
Production: Shochiku Co., Ltd.
Cast: Koji Yakusho, Kiki Kilin, Aoi Miyazaki, Kaho Minami, Midoriko Kimura
Contact: Shochiku Co., Ltd.


Masato Harada

Film Director


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