Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom

2002/65min/VTR+8mm→digitalβ camera

Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom

Nishii Kazuo, a photo critic. He is the last chief editor for the Camera Mainichi magazine, rushing through his time with Araki Nobuyoshi and Moriyama Daido as provocative artists in the photograph world. In the fall of 2001, Kawase receives a call from Nishii. "I cannot live longer than two months. Would you film me, to my last breath? I'll count on you, Kawase."

His saying "count on you" sticks in Kawase's head, and on the following day she starts visiting him in the hospice in Tokyo with a camera. The time left for Nishii gradually and surely passes, and Kawase tries to film the inspirations she gets from his existence.

Nishii also tries hard to answer what she questions while coughing in front of the camera. Furthermore, he points his still camera to take photos of Kawase at the same time she films him. Here, two persons film each other, and their spiritual exchange is being represented through each camera. This is not a hospital diary. This is a story of memory; Nishii and Kawase reach each other's hearts by sharing the same moment. This is a story of token, a token of life. Nishii, while being in the sickbed, wraps up two books, and ends his life on 25th of November 2001.

What I am doing is to leave something behind in this world. I'm filming under this simple theme. I film photographs, words, voices, smiles, tears. And it sometimes brings me pain, heartache. At least, the miraculous fact that I met you drives my life as an auteur. I simply present it back to you. - Kawase Naomi

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