Still the Water

Synopsis: On the subtropical Japanese island of Amami, traditions about nature remain eternal. During the full-moon night of traditional dances in August, 16-year-old Kaito discovers a dead body floating in the sea. His girlfriend Kyoko will attempt to help him understand this mysterious discovery. Together, Kaito and Kyoko will learn to become adults by experiencing the interwoven cycles of life, death and love.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Naomi Kawase
Production: Kumie
  4 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
121 min

The police say to stay back.

Is it a tourist?

I wonder what happened.

The police are here.

What do you think?

The waves are so high.

Especially with the typhoon coming.

He wasn't breathing

when they found him.

So they tried CPR.

Is this a criminal case?

Or an accident?

An accident?

It was probably an accident.

There aren't many crimes here.

But there are many accidents

on the island.

I wonder what happened.

There aren't many crimes

on the island.


I was waiting for you.

Don't look at me like that.


Wait right there! Fix your shirt!


Wait! Tuck in your shirt!

Was it a drowning?

- It wasn't an accident.

- It wasn't a drowning?

There are a lot of surfers.

A surfing accident?

But they say it was a naked man.

The morning greeting!

Stand up straight.

To the left of your desk.

All right, good.

Good morning, teacher!

Good morning.

Earlier this morning,

a police officer came to the school.

It seems that a corpse was found

on the Yoan beach.

We don't know yet

if it was an accident or foul play.

They're investigating now.

Swimming is prohibited

for the duration of the investigation.

Please stay away from the site.

Don't go have a look,

out of curiosity.

I'm not saying you can't have fun,

but please be careful.

I'm off to work.



Did you eat?

I'll be late tonight.

Will you be OK?

I cooked some rice.

There's curry in the fridge,

so warm it up.

Are you there?

I've got to get back to work.

Uncle Kame!

Is that Kyoko?

How are you?

I'm good.


You went in the sea again,

with your clothes on?

What are you doing?

Aren't you afraid?

I'm not afraid.

Swimming is prohibited.

See you later, Uncle Kame.

Heading home?

You have your bike?

Give me a ride.

What is it?

'Cause I'm wet?

I don't care.

You don't have to.

I know.

Thank you.



I'll change. Wait for me in the caf.

I'm home.

Thanks for waiting.

- I'm home.

- Hi.

Eat something?

- How about some pasta?

- Sure.

With lots of octopus.

A large portion for Kaito.


He could skip the wink.

My mother's not doing well.

The doctor told us the other day.

Why is it that people

are born and die?

I don't know.

There's no reason.

But your mother is a shaman, right?

Yes, she is.

Aren't shamans like gods?

She won't die.

Here you go.

The fishing was great yesterday.

Take some fish home with you.

Here you go.

Father, is Mother going to die?


The doctor said she's going to die.

As with serenity,

so with sorrow.

Neither one

can be measured.

I myself will enter

to observe

the depths of the heart.

As long as this world,

as long as bodies and countries exist,

from every corner of the earth,

in every realm,

allow me, this child of god,

to see and overlook nothing.

Gods are gods, men are men.

Whosoever it is,

I will serve them.

I thank you.

I am trying...

but I cannot understand

my mother's suffering.

After she dies, I can't see her.

I can't feel her warmth.

That's right.

It's just as you say.

Because there is no body.

That's exactly as you say,

it's true.

But her thoughts remain in this world.

Her thoughts exist here.

Your mother's thoughts

fill up the world.


there's no physical warmth,

but there's the warmth of the heart.

The warmth of the heart

is still there inside your heart.

That's not enough.


You were here?

How are you feeling?

It won't be long now.

I want to go home.

This morning,

I went over...

to your shrine.

And there,

I was surprised to find

the chief shaman from Sani.

You went to the shrine?


I'm sorry.

You must have hated it,

that your mother was a shaman.

It used to bother me.

As a shaman, I'm on the threshold

between the gods and humans.

So for me, dying

is not at all frightening.

Because I know...

the place where the gods are.

I'm not afraid.

Your mother's life...

is already

and always will be

intertwined with your life.

It's no longer my life alone.

It's always intertwined with your life.

And when you give birth to someone,

when you have a baby,

it will be intertwined too.

That's why I'm not afraid.

It's all right.

They say, in the mainland,

when people get sick,

they still want to live

as long as possible.

Can you imagine?

Why are you here?

Are you OK?

Let's go.

You know something.

About what?

About that corpse found in the water.

I don't know anything.

I won't tell anyone.

I said I don't know.

- You really don't know?

- I don't, I told you.

Why don't you try surfing?

My father said

you should get in the sea.

The sea is scary.

The sea...

it's alive.

I'm alive, too.

My father told me,

when you're surfing...

he's only felt this rarely,

but there are moments

when you feel like

you become one with the sea.

It's way too big for that.

I thought that's like sex.


Let's go.



I love you.


And you?

I love you.

Good night.

See you tomorrow.


Are you all right?


Can I go see Dad?

If you want.


This weekend.

All right.

I understand.

There are things a woman doesn't get.

I've got to go.

I'll get you a ticket.



Let's see,

I want her to be able

to look at the tree.

The pillar's in the way.

A little more this way.

Her head will be here.

That's a giant banyan.

It's 400 or 500 years old.

Ah, they're here.

Welcome home.

Are you all right?

I'm fine.

I'll take the bag, Kyoko.


We can't see it.

But your mom,

I think she sees something.

Your mom always loved

to flop here and look up

into the banyan from below.

- Flop?

- For sure.

It feels great,

to flop down here

and look straight up.

- Flop?

- That's right.

Like this?

Are you OK?

Feels good, doesn't it?

She's still a baby.

Still a baby, in a big body.

She's still a child.

The weather is terrific today.

You too?

I feel left out.

Isn't there someone I can lie on?

I'm on my own, self-service.

Lucky you, the two of you.

You look comfortable.




- You're Atsushi's son?

- Yes.

- How old are you?

- 16.

So, you're in your first year

of high school?


Relax now, have a seat.

Give me your backpack.

This is it.


Yes, this is Atsu's Tattoos.

A dragon?

Do you have a drawing?

Or would you leave that to us?

Well, then,

the way we do things

is to sit down

and meet with you first.

After we've talked it through,

we can go ahead.

Will that be all right?

Good, then, how about next week,

on Wednesday...

You have our address?

Good, why don't you come at 12?

Thanks, we'll see you then.

You look like somethings bugging you.

What is it?


why did you split with Mom?

You get right to the point, don't you?

I met Misaki...

You know, it's a strange thing,

you don't know about a person.

Until you meet them.

We ran into each other on the street.

I noticed her,

but then it happened

three times in one day.

That was amazing.

This is fate!

I convinced myself of it.

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Naomi Kawase

Naomi Kawase (河瀨直美, Kawase Naomi, born May 30, 1969) is a Japanese film director. She was also known as Naomi Sento (仙頭直美, Sentō Naomi), with her then-husband's surname. Many of her works have been documentaries, including Embracing, about her search for the father who abandoned her as a child, and Katatsumori, about the grandmother who raised her. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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