Year: 2018
Production: Other

Vision - Japan-France, 2018, 109 min
Director and screenwriter – Naomi Kawase
Cast: Juliette Binoche (Jeanne), Masatoshi Nagase (Satoshi), Takanori Iwata (Rin), Mari Natsuki (Aki), Minami (Hana)

Naomi Kawase is that rare filmmaker who can translate spiritual questions into cinematic drama with reverence and invention. Set in the magical Yoshino mountains of Kawase's home region of Nara, Vision is her most fully personal work yet.
Jeanne is a French writer who has come to Japan in search of "vision," an herb that appears but once every 997 years and is said to vanquish weakness and agony in those who consume it. Upon arriving in Nara, she meets the taciturn Tomo and his mentor Aki, a charismatic prophet and keeper of the forests who claims to be 1,000 years old. Not long after Tomo agrees to let Jeanne stay with him, Aki vanishes, yet a young man appears almost as if in her place. As the sacred moment of vision's return looms, time itself seems to slip from its perceived order - yielding new possibilities for human existence.
Vision sounds ethereal, but Kawase takes care to ground her film in tangible, sensuous things, such as trees, food, and the human touch. Binoche and Nagase endow the film with an open-hearted performances, full of sense of desire, wonder, and wakefulness. This is a film about something most of us relegate to the margins of our daily lives, yet is arguably the most important thing we can experience in this life: oneness.
Cameron Bailey

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