Woman of Water

Director: Hidenori Sugimori
Screenwriters: Hidenori Sugimori

Institute History


Woman of water meets man of fire in a poetic and visual tale of love, loss, and the elements. Filled with beautiful images of the Japanese sento bath, this meditative film offers itself up as a quiet study of humanity's relationship to nature; each character represents one of the elements, and each character struggles to find a balance in his or her world.

Ryo is a rain woman—she brings rain whenever emotion moves her. When her father and fiancé suddenly pass away—a very rainy day indeed—she closes her father's bathhouse and escapes to Mt. Fuji for solace. Upon her return, she hires Yusaku, a fugitive and former arsonist, to stoke the fires that heat the baths. But the delicate balance in this world of fire and water cannot hold. Yusaku begins to lose control, Ryo knows he's on the run, and the circle is completed in man's fall from grace, accompanied by Ryo's tears.

Debut feature director Hidenori Sugimori has created a Zen-like film that moves and changes as delightfully as the title character. With a stunning performance by Japanese pop singer UA, Ryo becomes the character that most fully embodies the element that makes her whole; she is perhaps the most at ease with her place in this world. In a story of wind, water, earth, and fire, it is ultimately Ryo and her rain that covers us, cleanses us, and carries us home.

Screening Details

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