Synopsis by Mark Deming
Two people dealing with loss come together in this drama from Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase. Machiko (Machiko Ono) is a woman who is still recovering emotionally from the death of her young son when she takes a job at a nursing home, where she helps care for the elderly and ailing residents. One of Machiko's charges is Shigeki (Shigeki Uda), a kind but frustrating man who is slipping into senility. Machiko reminds Shigeki of his late wife, while she similarly develops a filial fondness for him. For his birthday, Machiko takes Shigeki for a drive in the country, but her car breaks down and she has to go for help. When Machiko returns a few minutes later, she discovers Shigeki has run off into the nearby woods, and she has to go in and look for him. While Machiko does eventually find Shigeki, she still has a car that won't start and it's too dark to walk back to town; while Machiko tries to get Shigeki to settle down for the night, he keeps insisting on hiking deeper into the woods, looking for something he's incapable of explaining to others. Mogari no Mori (aka The Mourning Forest) received its European debut at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
back-roads, caregiver, forest, landslide, retirement-home, tomb