Over the years, Naomi Kawase has told stories tackling grief, teen romance, longing for love and lost parents, and tradition taking on the modern world. An, her eighth feature, is an allegory about confronting intergenerational ghosts, cloaked in a feel-good tale about connection and confectionery; significantly, it also marks the director's first attempt at a film that appeals to audiences outside Japan, writes Anthony Carew.
Additional keywords: Sweet Red Bean Paste, dorayaki, Suzaku, Firefly, Shara, The Mourning Forest, Nanayo, Hanezu, Still the Water, 'food porn', slow food, anti-consumerism, Asian cinema.
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