Yuri, a single architect in her 30s, born in Tokyo, visits Nagi village. She is there to model for her sculptor friend, Yoriko, a single woman in her 40s, who is her ex-husband′s sister.
Nagi is a village in the mountains. It hosts the Self-Defense Forces training ground and a contemporary art museum. Over several years, vast solar panels have been installed in the mountain forests.
Early one spring, Yuri, a 30ish-year-old architect born in Tokyo, visits Nagi for the first time for a vacation. For a few days, she sleeps at the home of her friend, Yoriko, a sculptor in her 40s, and becomes her model. Until a few years ago, Yuri was married to Yoriko′s younger brother. The couple were both architects and worked in Portugal, but they divorced and Yuri returned to Tokyo alone. Yoriko earns her living by helping her relatives with their dairy farm and teaching painting classes. She is beautiful but single, and is rumored to be a lesbian.
When Yuri gets off at the bus stop in Nagi, she happens to meet Keita, a junior high school student. Keita recognizes Yuri, whom he has never met before, because he saw a drawing that his best friend Haruki had done of Yuri, who modelled for an art class in Tokyo last summer. Keita and Haruki are both Yoriko′s students in her painting class. Keita, who refuses to go to school, paints every day at Yoriko′s house.
Yuri also meets Haruki and his father, Yoshihiro, at Yoriko′s house. Keita has a crush on Haruki, who is of the same sex. And Yoshihiro is secretly in love with Yuri, whom he has only seen in his son′s paintings…
Nagi Notes is my first attempt to make a film inspired by a single place.
For seven years now, I have spent a lot of time in Nagi, a village located in a region known as “the Shadow of the Mountains.” I go there to listen to the words of the people who live according to the rhythms of nature. The environment, which could easily have swallowed up my own contexts and interpretations, revealed to me the minuscule values of big Tokyo.
The story centers on the dialogue between the two women, and will reflect the dialogue I have had with the unique yet universal land of Nagi. What does it mean to live remaining rooted to the land, and what does it mean to live freely?
Nagi is a real village, on a plateau spreading out from the base of a mountain. Although it is a small village, the Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art was built there. Due to the presence of training grounds nearby for the Self-Defense Forces, the Ministry of Defense has invested heavily in Nagi′s infrastructure. Nagi has become depopulated and vast solar panels have been installed in the mountain forests over several years. This landscape is a universal image of a rural village, where all the elements of a centralized capitalist society are concentrated. Nagi Notes will be a work focusing a keen eye on society, narrated in the form of a diary, like the works of Eric Rohmer, Koji’s favorite filmmaker.
Born in Tokyo in 1980, Fukada Koji is a Japanese director and screenwriter. After taking a fiction course at the Film School of Tokyo, Koji began directing films and took part in Oriza Hirata′s theater troupe, Seinendan. His film, Harmonium (2016), won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2016; A Girl Missing (2019) was in competition at Locarno Film Festival 2019; and The Real Thing (2020) was selected for Cannes Film Festival 2020. His latest film, Love Life (2022), was presented in international competition at Venice International Film Festival 2022.
Osanai Terutaro is a Paris-based Japanese producer, programmer, and translator. He produced Bangkok Nites (Tomita Katsuya, 2016) and Tenzo (Tomita Katsuya, 2019), which were selected at numerous festivals, including Locarno Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, and Cannes Film Festival Critics′ Week. His latest film, Yamabuki (Yamasaki Juichiro, 2022), premiered in the Tiger competition at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2022 and was selected for the ACID section at Cannes Film Festival 2022. He joined Survivance in 2021.
Survivance is a French production and distribution company, created in 2010. Its films have premiered at Cannes Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and key documentary festivals, including International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, CPH:DOX-Copenhagen International Documentary Festival, and Visions du Réel. Survivance is a member of the EAVE and EURODOC networks. Through its distribution activities, Survivance introduces French audiences to world filmmakers such as Pedro Costa, Kleber Mendonça Filho and Anocha Suwichakornpong.