Maboroshi No Hikari

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film “Maboroshi No Hikari” is just another stunning example of the level Japanese art films operate on. It is impossible to describe the subtleness, dignity and depth of this film. The imagery is influenced by Ozu, one of the Grandmasters of Japanese cinema, and it is no exaggeration to say that each scene displays one stunning image after another.
A deeply moving and beautiful film. Most highly recommended.
The plot:
Yumiko (Esumi) and Ikuo (Asano) are a young Osaka couple who have a new baby. One day Ikuo is walking along the tracks and is hit by a train. It seems like he may have done this deliberately yet there is no apparent motive. A few years pass. Yumiko agrees to an arranged marriage with a widower, Tamio (Naitō), and she and Yuichi (her son, now played by Gohki Kashima) move to Tamio’s house in a rustic village on the Sea of Japan coast, shot on location in Wajima, on the Noto Peninsula.
A drunken spat over a bell Yumiko had given Ikuo just before he died causes Yumiko and Tamio to discuss their strong emotions for their lost loves. Shortly after, Yumiko follows a funeral procession and lingers at the crematorium, until Tamio arrives by car to pick her up, at which point she says she just wants to know why Ikuo killed himself. Tamio suggests that, like the will o’ the wisps his father used to see, perhaps something just drew him away from life.