Expired March 11, 2021 7:59 AM
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Today is the last day of this special limited time screening. If you are unable to claim tickets, we apologize in advance as that means all have been claimed. Thank you for your interest and if you'd like to watch another Japanese film, we are offering "A Letter to Momo" while tickets last until March 31. Click here for more ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Japan's Official Submission to the Academy Awards

After a long and unsuccessful struggle to get pregnant, Satoko and her husband decide to adopt a child. Over the next six years, the middle-class couple and their young son Asato settle into a comfortable, albeit routine, life. The family’s orderly existence is shattered by the arrival of Hikari, a young woman claiming to be Asato’s biological mother, demanding his return. As tensions mount, Satoko grows more and more emboldened to defend her family.

Weaving together multiple timelines and genres with a contemplative pacing and keen sense of place, hallmarks of Kawase’s work, TRUE MOTHERS “is a deeply touching celebration of women who assume duties of love, support and compassion” (Awards Watch).



Hiromi Nagasaku - Satoko Kurihara

Arata Iura - Kiyokazu Kurihara

Aju Makita - Hikari Katakura

Miyoko Asada - Shizue Asam


Director Naomi Kawase

Born in Nara, Japan, Naomi Kawase graduated from Osaka University of the Arts in 1989. Her documentaries Embracing (1992) and Escargot (1994) received international recognition and were awarded at the 1995 Yamagata Documentary Film Festival. In 1997, she became the youngest winner of the Camera d’or for her first feature Suzaku, presented at the Directors’ Fortnight. In 2000, Firefly won both the FIPRESCI and the CICAE Prizes at the Locarno Film Festival. Then followed a series of feature films selected for competition at the Cannes Film Festival: Shara (2003),The Mourning Forest (Grand Prix 2007), Hanezu (2011) and Still the Water (2014). Sweet Red Bean Paste was selected as the opening film for the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival in2015. Naomi Kawase has also been recognized for her accomplishments in documentary filmmaking. Among other honors, she has received the Carrosse d’or from the Directors’ Fortnight (2009) and was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture (2015). She was a member of the Jury headed by Steven Spielberg at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Retrospective exhibitions of Kawase’s work have been organized all over Europe, including at the Jeu de Paume in Paris (2002). In 2010, she founded the International Nara Film Festival. In 2010, she founded the International Nara Film Festival, dedicated to promoting the work of young directors.


Related Program

This screening will be accompanied by a live discussion with award-winning Director Naomi Kawase, who will join virtually from Japan, and Claudia Puig, President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. They will discuss Kawase’s work on True Mothers while also exploring the theme of “Mothers and Film Making.” 

Date               Tuesday, March 2, 2021 

Time               5:00 PM – 6:00 PM (PST) 

Location        Online 

Fee                 Complimentary (Registration required) 

Register Now

Naomi Kawase photographed by Leslie Kee

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  • Runtime
    140 minutes
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