Rosewater (2000) 

A film by Kimi Takesue
13 minutes / 16mm film / 2000
Distributor: Kimikat Productions

Winner: Golden Reel Award, Los Angeles Asian Pacific International Film Festival
Winner: Audience Award-Best Experimental Film, Brooklyn International Film Festival
Honorable Mention: New England Film Festival, Boston
National Television cablecast: Independent Film Channel (IFC) (2006-2008)
Television Broadcast: WYBE-35, Philadelphia, Through the Lens
Television Broadcast: WHYY-12, Philadelphia, Independent Images

rosewater_rising rose.jpg


A solitary man struggles to cultivate beauty in a desolate urban world. Lonely and dislocated, he drifts in and out of a dream state envisioning the promise of regeneration. ROSEWATER tells a story of hope sustained through perseverance, ritual and, ultimately, revelation.


"Elegant and elegiac."
          - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper

"A gorgeous visual poem."
           - Chicago Reader

"An impressive expressionistic piece filled with stark and vivid imagery, black and white cinematography of the highest order and truly memorably paced, a short dose of poetic storytelling of the highest order."
          - Scott Dunhahel, Providence Monthly

"ROSEWATER by Kimi Takesue is a short that fully deserves the critical attention of a feature. Pierre Melville, the great French Director and the father of the New Wave, once stated that “Ambiguity in technique is everything.” Takesue needs no lessons in regard to this form in her work. ROSEWATER is a very formal film, arranged with the delicacy and power of a wave leaving its imprint in the sand. Sky, earth and water create the transitions that empower this mysterious machine of images. A man moves through a blighted world with a rose and in this journey an elemental eros evolves about the image of this flower. The framing of the film creates an almost architectural religion, the Director using formidable images and then moderating and manipulating their foregrounds into ambiguous abstractions. In a sequence using water, apples and a blindfold, the Director melds the erotic and the religious masterfully, baptizing her subject with images that have become compounds of the heaven and hell she has exposed in this mysterious foray. In a short space the Director has used powerful tools to create a mythopoetic world that balances itself delicately against the savage modern landscape. Takesue Directed and Wrote this silent film and was Editor and Cinematographer as well. One more compliment…the use of sound in this film is outstanding. Sound is used to create brilliant transitions in the world Takesue creates. This is a film that is the work of a dedicated and serious filmmaker. There are no cheap tricks or easy games to gain the favor of the audience. But it is also good to advise a Director as well-equipped as Takesue is, that Shakespeare, who was one of the greatest masters of ambiguity, was also a master of the playful. In his book Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga points out that without a sense of play all art in time grows false. As the Director’s work grows-- and in this film that determination is evident-- I only hope that she does not overlook the playful as anything less than the formidable powers she already commands."
          - Rod Hewitt, TNT


Slamdance Film Festival, Park City
Slamdance on the Road at the Cannes Film Festival, France
BBC British International Short Film Festival, London
Fant-Asia International Film Festival, Montreal, Canada
Oldenburg International Film Festival, Germany
Brno International Short Film Festival, Czech Republic
Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, PA
Newport Beach International Film Festival, CA
Central Florida International Film & Video Festival, FL
Athens International Film & Video Festival, OH
Madcat International Film Festival, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Asian International Film Festival, CA
Asian-American International Film Festival, NY, NY
Chicago Asian American Showcase, IL
San Diego Asian Film Festival, CA
Florida Film Festival, Maitland
Atlanta Film & Video Festival, GA   
Multicultural Film Festival, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Japan SocietyRecent Japanese Cinema, NY, NY



Keiichi Kondoh
Kim-Lou Conigliaro
Ted Bourne
John X. Kim

Production TEAM

Writer, Director, Producer: Kimi Takesue
Music: Michael O’Reilly
Cinematographer, Editor: Kimi Takesue
Sound Design: Crosby Hill
Production Company: Kimikat Productions