Suzaku. 1997. Japan. Directed by Naomi Kawase. With Machiko Ono, Hajime Kunimura, Sachiko Izumi, Kôtarô Shibata, Yasuyo Kamimura. In Japanese; English subtitles. 95 min.
In a remote, mountainous region of Nara Prefecture, Japan, in the 1970s, young Michiru grows from a child into a teenager and falls in love. Economic hardship has tragic repercussions that reverberate through Michiru’s family, as her father’s hopes for a train route connecting their timber region with other areas fades. This is a masterful film about hidden desires, familial relationships, and a society in transition, featuring performances by several non-actors from the region as themselves. Winner, Camera d’Or, 1997 Cannes Film Festival.