Archive of films Firefly Dreams / Ichiban utsukushii natsu

2001, 104 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2001


Seventeen-year-old Naomi is deeply affected by her parents’ divorce and so agrees to her mother’s suggestion that she go for the holidays to stay with her aunt in the mountains. When the aunt realises that Naomi is not too thrilled with her work at the hotel, she introduces her to Mrs Koide, a distant relative living in isolation. At first Naomi is mortified by the thought of taking care of an old woman but she soon becomes interested in the secrets Mrs Koide is evidently hiding. The girl and the old woman find that they have a common language and begin sharing their dreams, desires and disappointments. Naomi becomes even more attached to Mrs Koide after she is let down by a local boy she’s met, and to her surprise she discovers how similar her feelings are to those described by a woman several generations her senior. The story, pitting the World War II generation against today’s youth, who never had to fear for their lives, but who feel lost in our commercial, spiritually empty society, is set in central Japan, a region full of natural beauty and cultural traditions.

About the director

John Williams (b. 1962, St Albans, England) spent his childhood in Wales but moved to Japan in 1988 he where he still lives today. He started shooting films after he saw Werner Herzog’s Aguirre: The Wrath of God, although he studied German and French literature, and taught French for a time. He has made several documentaries, and in 1995 founded 100 Meter Films, the company that produced his feature debut Firefly Dreams (2001).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: John Williams
Screenplay: John Williams
Dir. of Photography: Yoshinobu Hayano
Music: Paul Rowe
Editor: John Williams
Producer: Kazuaki Kaneda, Martin B. Z. Rycroft, John Williams
Production: 100 Meter Films
Cast: Maho Ukai, Yoshie Minami, Tsutomu Niwa, Etsuko Kimata, Atsushi Ono, Chie Miyajima, Kyoko Kanemoto, Sadayasu Yamakawa, Haruo Nanahara, Ayako Sako, Tomohiko Hara, Seiji, Shunsuke Kabiya, Dai Sakurai, Tobako Sakita, Sheharu Kamiya

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