Sweet Bean

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*Filmmaker in Attendance


An takes its cue from its English translation “sweet red bean paste”, the filling from Doriyaki, a Japanese pancake. Similarly, An is a sensitively woven melodrama revolving around Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase from Mystery Train and The Hidden Blade), a lonely Dorayaki chef and his encounter with Tokue, a mysterious elderly lady whom he hires as an assistant. She imparts to him her recipe for red bean paste which turns his practice into a delicate slow process. In time too, a subdued relationship and complications develop between the two.

An is based on a novel by Durian Sukegawa and it is the first film that she shot in Tokyo instead of her hometown Nara. An was Kawase’s first film that was widely celebrated by Japanese audiences when released domestically after its premiere in Cannes.


  • Since her emergence in the 1990s, Naomi Kawase has cemented herself as one of the most respected and adroit filmmakers of contemporary Japanese cinema. Her films are a window into the inner worlds of nature and humanity, illuminating the quiet humanism that is present in all our lives. She has made more than 30 documentary and fiction works that have been lauded by critics, festivals and audiences all over.
  • Masamichi Sawada, Koichiro Fukushima, Yoshito Oyama
  • Naomi Kawase
  • Kirin Kiki, Masatoshi Nagase, Kyara Uchida
  • MK2 / Juliette Schrameck - [email protected]