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Synopsis: One day, middle-aged photographer and retouching artist Kai encounters Kyoko, a beautiful woman and model with a huge and ugly scar on her body. She asks Kai if he can erase the scar in her photographs of herself and create a perfect and flawless body by his retouching skills. Kyoko is fascinated by her new perfect looks in her photographs. At the same time, she is hesitant to show the world and her fans her ideal figures as in her photographs or to show her real self, scars and all. She is torn between the two selves and falls into confusion. Kai feels that only he can salvage Kyoko from her anguishes, and he is determined to love her at all costs, even if it means death to him.
“WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS” is a film that depicts the fascination and the passion in this encounter between two people awakening for the first time, to love and empathy.

Language

Japanese

Run Time

89 minutes

Starring

Hideki NAGAI (Kai)
Itsuki OTAKI (Kyoko)
Toshiaki INOMATA (Saijo)
Toki KOINUMA (Hisako)

Directed by

Takeshi KUSHIDA

Produced by

Shin NISHIMURA
Yosuke SATO

Edited by

Atsushi-Gaudi YAMAMOTO

Cinematographer

Yu OISHI

Director's Statement

Photography has changed immensely with the development of social media. At one time, photographs were taken so we would have memories. Now, they are taken to show others ideal views of ourselves with the help of advanced photo retouching technology, and we can become not our natural selves but idealized versions of ourselves. And life becomes difficult as we try to make our lives into our idealized versions of it, losing all reality and sincerity.
I believe that what we should say in a film in this era are the following: to love oneself for what we are, and to build our self-esteem on truth, to cherish our inner values that others might not see in us, to love ourselves together with the existence of others.
People often vacillate between their natural selves and their idealized selves. We cannot hope to become everything in our ideals, that would be too much for us. However, in attempting to do so, we fall into confusion and despair, distress and hopelessness. We lose the way and the true meaning of life. This film was created to celebrate humanity through our attempts to find our true selves in this complex world.
To love oneself requires more effort than to love another human being. However, when we meet others who need us for their own efforts to achieve happiness and sincerity, we help ourselves in the process. “WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS” is a story of the joyful transformation of two lonely people who are awakened to love and humanity through caring for each other.

Director's Bio

Born in 1982. Takeshi KUSHIDA has been a member of Pyramidfilm in Tokyo.
He made a feature debut with WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS.

VOICE (2018) Jury’s Stellar Award (Grand Prize) – Black Maria Film Festival
THE EARTH WAS BLUISH (2015) GRAND PRIX – United For Peace Film Festival
I AM A CAMERA (2013) JURY PRIZE – GR Movie Festival
REINCARNATION (2008) JURY RECOMMENDED WORK – Japan Media Art Festival
Hide and Seek (2005) GOLD PRIZE – Bilbao International Short and Documentary Film Festival
KANNNON (2004) SPECIAL MENTION – WRO Media Art Biennale
FLOW (2003) FIRST PRIZE for Experimental Film – Lille International Short Film Festival

Production Year

2020

Official Website

Twitter

https://twitter.com/Shashin_No_Onna

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