an

Sweet Bean (An): A Movie Review

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Before I say anything about this movie, I want to tell you something. But before I do, I want to apologize in advance if I offend anybody. Basically, In my mother tongue of Persian/Farsi, “an” is the word for, put politely, feces. Which by the way, came as a real shock when my family and I left Iran and met numerous Annes and Annies. Again, I’m real sorry for even talking about this but the “ie” downgrades shit to shitty. I am so sorry. But it’s kind of funny, right? Languages, I mean. The Japanese word for persimmon 柿 (kaki) is also the Hebrew word for feces. Okay, enough poop talk, An (the movie not the other) is a must-see.

I watched four movies on the plane to and back from NZ and this one was by far my favorite. An is the story of an uncommon threesome: a middle-aged and troubled male confectioner, an elderly woman and a schoolgirl. Directed by Naomi Kawase, it is a simple story told with plenty of heart. The film explores the power of life’s simple joys, in relieving burdens and uniting souls and the need to hand down skills from generation to generation. That, and some serious, simmering bean foodporn.

By the way, an in Japan is everywhere. As in, EVERYWHERE. And dorayaki (the product of the troubled confectioner; a Japanese red-bean pancake consisting of two small pancake-like patties wrapped around a filling of sweet Azuki red bean paste) is super popular. So, it’s a great movie to see for Japan dwellers seeing as they’ll surely relate but also a great watch for lovers of Japan and/or artsy films.