Reflec­tions on fertility, on the basis of an instal­la­tion that pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama made in Japan. Universal themes like fertility, rituals and the loss of life turn out to be personal.

When the Dutch-Japanese pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama develops an art work around her fertility, docu­men­tary film­maker Aliona van der Horst decides to follow her to Japan, where the instal­la­tion is exhib­ited. It is a cathe­dral-like space made up of 12,000 white dresses and a core made of fabric dyed with menstrual blood. Mukaiyama: Nobody ever talks about the blood between your legs”, but I think it’s beau­tiful’, she explains her fasci­na­tion. The visi­tors wander around as in a ritual, followed by the camera. The normally restrained Japanese speak candidly about moon blood’, fertility and sexu­ality. A man, in awe of the instal­la­tion, calls it a requiem of the phenom­enon of washing away a life that had it in itself to be born.’ Based on conver­sa­tions, the core of the film shifts to rituals and the loss of life. Universal themes that also turn out to be very personal, both to the pianist and Van der Horst herself. In the back­ground, we hear Bach’s superb Gold­berg Vari­a­tions, performed by Mukaiyama.


Executive producer
Sound editing
Production company
Zeppers Film & TV
TV company
Distributor NL
Cinema Delicatessen

Title: Water Children
Year: 2011
Duration : 1 hour, 15 minutes
Category: Long Documentary
Edition: NFF 2011

Gouden Kalf nominees

Beste Lange Documentaire (2011)
Aliona van der Horst

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