The Weald is a portrayal of six groups of elderly people living in the mountains of Yoshino, Nara Prefecture. Kawase Naomi goes straight to their hearts, keenly listening to their stories. Refusing to analyze their lives, she describes these people just as they are. Led along by inserts of a mournful melody, the film weaves together the solitude of a single woman nearing old age, the sadness of a couple who have lost a child, and the dreams of the villagers. People leave, and the villagers continue to live their modest lives unable to regain their past energy. Kawase's remarkable fieldwork and flexible personality allow the optimistic expressions and brave gestures of these people to shine through their melancholic lives. Just when you think her versatile camerawork has captured the villagers in sunlight, pictures of the transparent wind blowing over a dirt floor and a forest of lacquer-like trees visualize the time and climate of the village. It suddenly comes to mind that this is what the Japanese homeland was like.
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