Japan film wins prize at Montreal

Kyodo

“Chronicle of My Mother” by director Masato Harada won a special jury award Sunday at the 35th Montreal World Film Festival.

The Special Grand Prix is the second-highest honor next to the Grand Prix at the film festival, one of the largest in North America. The Grand Prix went to “Hasta La Vista,” directed by Geoffrey Enthoven of Belgium.

Harada’s film, titled “Waga Haha no Ki” in Japanese, is based on an autobiographical novel by writer Yasushi Inoue, depicting family love through the author’s relationship with his aging mother, who starts to suffer from dementia.

“I was very pleased to hear such bright news amid the gloomy atmosphere in Japan,” said Harada in a released statement.

“It is a privilege that people in Montreal felt empathy for the story of family ties,” Harada said.

The director also said he shot the film with the intention of dedicating it to all viewers and their mothers.

Inoue spent his early childhood in Shizuoka Prefecture, and the film was shot in places linked to his life, including the Izu Peninsula.