Naomi Kawase, on her vision of the tragic events in Japan:
"The situation in Japan is complex: there are still hundreds of thousands of refugees. My thoughts go out to them. At Cannes, there are many places where fundraising is going on. I am grateful for and touched by this generosity."
On her rapport with nature, a key theme in her work:
"Growing up in Nara taught me to respect Nature, to lose myself in it. Humanity thought it could dominate everything. The tsunami was seen as absolute evil, but it's merely a natural phenomenon. Other elements in nature can give you a sense of security. We have to protect the place we live in."
"After the earthquake, I became aware of the fragile beauty of the earth."
On the central role of the colour red in her film:
"This colour red symbolises this film in a way. In ancient times, it stood for power and glory. But it is also a colour which can fade very quickly, and hence also symbolises the fragile and the ephemeral, adjectives which be just as easily applied to power and money. It can all just disappear."
Tetsuya Akikawa, on his first film role:
"Initially I refused, because I was living in a world far removed from the cinema. But finally, after spending an evening with Naomi Kawase, and some sake, I was entranced by her take, her vision of the world and her charisma. Arriving in Nara (the region where the film takes place), I understood exactly what she had been telling me."
Reported by E.B.