Review (Scott McCutcheon 1st April 2023)

Blind Willow Sleeping Woman is an animated interpretation of a collection of short stories by the Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Set in Tokyo, a few days after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Blind Willow Sleeping Woman follows the lives of various characters as they deal with the natural disaster.

The first story sees a young Japanese woman, who has been glued to the TV news for days following the earthquake suddenly leave her husband, Kyoko. Her husband then leaves his work to deliver a box and its unknown contents to two young women.

The second, and most bizarre, involves a shy debt collector who returns home one evening to find a two-metre-tall frog asking for his help to save Tokyo from impending destruction by a giant subterranean worm.

The pace of Blind Willow Sleeping Woman won’t be to everyone’s liking as at times it can be painfully slow. The characters for the most part, it isn’t hard to see why Kyoko’s wife left him but I suppose that is the idea, are pretty drab and lack any real depth. One thing you can’t fault is the gorgeous animation which features a blend of different animation techniques.

If you’re a fan of either Japanese animation or Haruki Murakami’s work Blind Willow Sleeping Woman is a must. For everyone else it might be just a bit to bizarre for your liking.


Blind Willow Sleeping Woman
Original title: Saules aveugles, femme endormie

1h 40m

Director: Pierre Foldes
Cast: Michael Czyz, Zag Dorison, Jesse Noah Gruman

UK Release: Cinemas 31st March 2023