Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Enchanting animation film, based on Haruki Murakami's magical-realist stories, about the lives of several Tokyo residents after the 2011 earthquake.

Time & Tickets

The work of Japanese author Haruki Murakami is a wellspring of thoughtful, deeply human cinema, from TONY TAKITANI and NORWEGIAN WOOD to more recent films like BURNING and DRIVE MY CAR. Now, composer and filmmaker Pierre Földes uses animation to bring out the gentle absurdity that hides within Murakami’s fiction. Using a hybrid animation approach that incorporates live-action references, 3D modelling, and traditional layouts, Földes adapts a few short stories into a single interconnected narrative, following a handful of characters in Tokyo just days after the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. As the hunt for survivors plays out in the background on their televisions, these characters deal with life-changing concerns of their own.

Komura is adrift after his wife Kyoko announces she’s leaving him. This sets Komura adrift, and he takes a few days off to get his head together and look for their missing cat. Kyoko embarks on her own odyssey of self-discovery, which leads her to reflect on the time an enigmatic man offered to grant her one wish on her twentieth birthday. Meanwhile, anxious accountant Mr. Katagiri comes home from work to discover a human-sized frog sitting at his dinner table with a proposition: to help him fight a giant worm and save Tokyo from another, even more destructive earthquake.

Földes weaves their stories into a gentle magical-realist fable in which anything can happen, though very little does. And from its small, specific perspective, BLIND WILLOW, SLEEPING WOMAN does what Murakami’s best fiction does: it lets us drift alongside people experiencing profound change and has us hoping they make it out the other side. (source:

Pierre Földes, France, Luxembourg, Canada, Netherlands, 2022, 108 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles.