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Throughout her career, filmmaker Naomi Kawase has seldom strayed far from the subject she knows best: herself. Her earliest films were intimate documentaries about her family, shot on 8mm film. When she branched out into drama, the stories — usually set in her native Nara Prefecture — were often tightly entwined with her own.

That’s also the case with her latest movie, “True Mothers.” Based on a hit novel by Mizuki Tsujimura, it’s a drama that looks at the issue of adoption from two sides, telling the parallel stories of a middle-aged couple with an adopted son, and a birth mother trying to get her child back.

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