Maborosi | Chicago Reader

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This sensitive and at times beautiful 1995 feature by Japanese documentary filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda focuses mainly on the second marriage and new life of a young mother whose first husband inexplicably committed suicide. She moves to a small coastal village to live with her son, new husband, and stepdaughter and tries to come to terms with her life as a whole. Clearly influenced by Yasujiro Ozu and Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien (subject of one of Kore-eda's documentaries), the film avoids close-ups, favors extended long shots, and often concentrates on the flavor and texture of everyday life. Not a masterpiece perhaps, but an impressive first feature, with moments of real power and lingering aftereffects. The title, incidentally, means “illusion” or “mirage.” Screenwriter Yoshihisa Ogita adapted a short story by Teru Miyamoto. In Japanese with subtitles. 109 min.

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