Still the Water

Directed by Naomi Kawase
Film Movement
121 Minutes
France, Japan, Spain
Drama, Romance, Coming of Age, Asian
Not Rated

On the subtropical Japanese island of Amami, traditions about nature remain eternal. During the full-moon night of traditional dances in August, 16-year-old Kaito discovers a dead body floating in the sea. His girlfriend Kyoko will attempt to help him understand this mysterious discovery. Together, Kaito and Kyoko will learn to become adults by experiencing the interwoven cycles of life, death and love.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Naomi Kawase
  • Starring: Nijirô Murakami
  • Starring: Junko Abe
  • Starring: Miyuki Matsuda
  • Starring: Tetta Sugimoto




  • "Still the Water has an idealism and a tranquility. Kawase's distinctive serenity and generosity of spirit remain valuable qualities in the cinema."
    Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
  • "Kawase delivers a striking meditation on what are clearly deeply personal themes...."
    Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily
  • "An enthralling coming of age story."
    Nikola Grozdanovic, IndieWire
  • "A very beautiful and moving film."
    Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald
  • "There’s a musical quality which harmonises the script’s rockier edges, and the use of diegetic song is powerful and engaging."
    Mark Kermode, The Observer
  • "Taking place on the gorgeous island of Amami-Oshima, Still the Water delves into themes that have run throughout all of her films: the cycle of nature, life, death, love, humanity’s relationship with nature. Kawase tackles these large-scale motifs with a calm, zen-like approach, making Still the Water a pleasant viewing experience."
    C.J. Prince, Way Too Indie