Climbing to Spring
Haru wo seotte
A story of “family” set in a majestic natural landscape 3,000 meters above sea level.
The long-awaited new film by director and cinematographer Daisaku Kimura of “Mt. Tsurugidake.”
Cameraman Daisuke Kimura demonstrated his prodigious talent as a cinematographer in the Japanese film masterpieces “Hakkodasan,” “Fukkatsu no Hi (Day of Resurrection) ”, “Yukai” and “Poppoya (Railroad Man).”
His 2009 directorial debut “Mt. Tsurugidake” was a huge hit, winning him the best director award at the Japan Academy Awards among others.
His latest work is a story of “family” set in the Tateyama mountain range 3,000 meters above sea level. Five years after “Mt. Tsurugidake,” Daisaku Kimura’s new film “Haru wo Seotte” portrays the story of a father and son, and of “family.”
Director Kimura believes that “everyone carries some sort of burden in life.” So he was instantly drawn to the title of the novel “Haru wo Seotte” by Ryohei Sasamoto (Bungei Shunju). The book resonated so strongly with his own life philosophy that he was compelled to adapt it to film. Director Kimura changed the location from the book’s Oku Chichibu to the Tateyama mountain range in Toyama Prefecture. The strong, talented cast includes Kenichi Matsuyama, Yu Aoi, Kaoru Kobayashi, Fumi Dan and Etsushi Toyokawa. Director Daisaku Kimura and the ultimate staff and cast have etched in film a story of human kindness and emotional growth shaped by the beautiful, and at times, severe majesty of nature.
Toru Nagamine (Kenichi Matsuyama) was raised by a strict father (Kaoru Kobayashi) who ran “Sumire Cottage” in the Tateyama mountains. As if to flee from anything to do with his father, Toru chooses to pursue a career in the corporate world of finance as soon as he becomes an adult.
But one day, he receives news of his father’s death. Returning to his home in the mountains, Toru is welcomed by his bravely cheerful mother (Fumi Dan), her protective neighbors and an unfamiliar young girl, Ai Takazawa. (Yu Aoi) The emotionally scarred Ai had been rescued by Toru’s father in a mountain accident.
Touched by his father’s wishes, Toru decides to leave his life in the city and run Sumire Cottage. As Toru struggles to adjust to harsh mountain life, a man named Goro (Etsushi Toyokawa) appears, claiming to be a friend of his father. Inspired by world traveler Goro’s attitude towards nature and Ai’s genuine smile, Toru finally begins to embrace his new life.