Naomi Kawase describes Sakura Ando, the lead character in her film, as being "more like a fairy. A mysterious creature". Seed is the story of the journey this girl takes from the enchanted nature of Nara to the chaos of Tokyo, and the encounters she has along the way.
A boy offers her the gift of an apple, which she in turn gives to a homeless man, who proffers her a soft piece of chiffon fabric in exchange. Moving like a tree that sways in the wind, the girl expresses a spirit that secretly runs through places and living things. The eleventh film commissioned by Miu Miu Women's Tales was directed by the multiple Cannes award-winning Japanese director Naomi Kawase.
Her documentaries and films blend nature and tradition, the personal and the poetic, and include An (2015), Still the Water (2014), The Mourning Forest (2007) and Suzaku (1997).
Seed is also a sentimental portrait of Asian femininity, which Kawase depicts as "primitive, primal and erotic at the same time". The soundtrack was composed by the band Sakanation, famous for their fusion of folk melodies and artful lyrics.
Photos by Leslie Kee