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Mabaroshi: The Danger and Allure of Phantom Light

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In 1995, many international festivals took note of films by a new generation of directors. Two readily come to mind: Makoto Shinozaki's Okaeri and Hirokazu Koreeda's Maboroshi no hikari (Maboroshi). Both are debut feature-length films. Both offer a confident, thought-provoking approach to a familiar subject still relevant in Japan today: the breakdown of an ordinary family. Okaeri studies a young couple's helplessness in face of the wife's decline into insanity. Maboroshi explores a young widow's growing obsession with death.

Keywords: Hirokazu Koreeda; Maboroshi no hikari; camera work; death; film; obsession

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Pittsburgh

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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