Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase accused of being violent towards staff

However, the magazine then wrote about an incident in October 2015, when Kawase reportedly assaulted a staff member at her production company Kumie’s office in Nara City

Naomi Kawase. Pic/AFP

Japanese film director Naomi Kawase, has been accused of violent behaviour towards her staff and crew, including an assault that left an employee’s face swollen.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, on the set of True Mothers in May 2019, when an assistant director touched Kawase to point out there was an issue with a shot, Kawase reportedly shouted “What do you think you are doing?” at the assistant director and kicked him in the stomach, even though there was no suggestion that the contact was inappropriate.

Following the incident, the entire cinematography team, led by Yuta Tsukinaga resigned from the shoot. After a Tokyo-based weekly magazine and scoop factory broke the story, Kawase said on her company’s website that the matter had been settled internally.

However, the magazine then wrote about an incident in October 2015, when Kawase reportedly assaulted a staff member at her production company Kumie’s office in Nara City.

The award-winning director punched a male employee, knocking him to the ground and continued to beat him while other staff members fled the office in fear.

When the staff returned, the victim’s face was visibly swollen. The employee, who resigned immediately, confirmed to the outlet that the assault had taken place, but said he did not want to publicly comment on it.

Japan’s film industry has also been hit this year by a string of accusations of sexual abuse of actors by directors.

On Friday, Kawase’s Tokyo 2020 ‘Side A’, the official film of last year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics, opened in Japan to little fanfare, no public appearance from the director and poor ticket sales. It’s unclear whether the controversy surrounding Kawase has impacted audience enthusiasm, as per The Hollywood Reporter. 

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