Sweet Bean
Directed by Naomi Kawase, Japan 2015
113 mins. Japanese dialogue with English sub-titles
A small-town drama of culinary redemption, which opened the prestigious Un Certain Regard section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Struggling street food vendor Sentaro finds himself confronted with Tokue, an odd but sympathetic elderly lady looking for work. When he reluctantly accepts, it's not long before Tokue proves to have an extraordinary gift when it comes to making "an" - the sweet red bean paste filling used in his dorayaki pancakes - which starts a relationship that is about much more than just street food. Director Naomi Kawase focuses on people at the periphery of Japanese society and investigates their place in the flow of life itself.
What the Critics say:
"Naomi Kawase deftly handles her themes of loneliness, social stigma and the joy of finding a purpose in life, and her story's resolution is bittersweet but uplifting."  (Jason Best - What's On TV)