Mori, The Artist’s Habitat
Tuesday, September 3
He lays among the shrubs and trees in his garden and observes the scurrying ants. This 94-year-old bearded man is Morikazu Kumagai, aka Mori, and he is a painter. For the last 30 years he’s hardly left his property. Most of his day is spent tirelessly observing his garden and all living things in it, which he renders into paintings. He paints every evening in a studio he calls the “school.” While he goes about his business, his wife Hideko attends to a string of visitors. In the garden there are the critters and insects and, on the porch, birds in cages overlook the garden. Mori and Hideko live peacefully, surrounded by the things they love. But then some developers decide to build a condominium next door which puts their small paradise at risk. It will block the sun and the garden will be uninhabitable. Mori and Hideko decide to take action to protect the garden they cherish… The film is a humorous depiction of a summer day in the life of an old couple who’ve been together 52 years. Based on the real life of the eccentric artist in the more affable social atmosphere of the 1970s.
Director: OKITA Shuichi; Cast: YAMAZAKI Tsutomu, KIKI Kirin, KASE Ryo
Release Date: May 19, 2018; Running Time: 99 min; Japanese with English
Japan Film Show: Mori, The Artist's Habitat - Sept. 3, 7:00 pm at Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
August 22, 2019