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Water Children
Netherlands, 2011, 75 minutes, Color, DVD, Japanese/English, English/Dutch Subtitles
Order No. W121076
In this acclaimed, hauntingly beautiful film, director Aliona van der Horst follows the unconventional Japanese-Dutch pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama as she explores the miracle of fertility and the cycle of life—sometimes joyful, sometimes tragic. When Mukaiyama recognized that her childbearing years were ending, she created a multimedia art project on the subject in a village in Japan, constructing what she calls a cathedral, out of 12,000 white silk dresses. While Mukaiyama’s own mesmerizing music provides a haunting backdrop to the film, her installation elicits confessions from its normally reticent Japanese visitors, many of whom have never seen art before—and in moving scenes they open up about previously taboo subjects. Mukaiyama’s courageous approach to a subject that remains unspoken in many cultures is explored with an elegance and sophistication that deepens our understanding of the relationship between body and mind.


DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Winner, Feature Documentary Award

  • Sarasota Film Festival
  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Reflecting Images
  • Dutch Film Festival
  • Yamagata Film Festival
  • Dok Leipzig, European Premiere, Honorary Mention
  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival
  • Salem Film Festival
  • Reykjavik Shorts&Docs Festival

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    “As sensuous as Werner Herzog’s early work or Terence Malick, especially Tree of Life…an extended moment of the sublime.”
    Gawie Keyser
    De Groene Amsterdammer

    “Reserved and breathtakingly intimate… [T]he film penetrates into what is probably still one of the greatest of taboos, menstruation, and, as a consequence, about what femininity and being a woman mean.”
    Dana Linssen
    NRC Handelsblad

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    Water Children is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us