Scene from the film Ashes


  • France
  • Senegal
Audio Tracks 

As Kyoko Kosaka lies dying in Paris, her daughter Akiko travels from Japan to care for her and, after her death, to arrange the cremation and inheritance. Part of Akiko's mother's estate is a diary. In this diary, Kyoko talks – a voice from beyond the grave – about her motivations for moving to Paris. As a child, she had survived the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. As a young woman, she wanted nothing more than to live like a heroine from the New Wave films. She left her country after getting to know her future husband, French documentary maker Pierre-Dominique Gaisseau. In France, she acted in films by the likes of Chris Marker and Jean-Luc Godard. Kyoko's diary excerpts form a powerful diptych with the actions of her daughter upon her return to Japan. A personal story of family ties and passing through grief and memory is transformed into an examination of post-war Japan, the French New Wave and the desire for freedom.


  • Original Title
  • Direction
  • Cinematography
    Idrissa Guiro
  • Editing
    Mélanie Pavy
  • Runtime
    74 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • France
    • Senegal
  • Format
    • Colour
  • Production
  • Distribution
  • Festivals
    • IDFA
    • GÖTEBORG is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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