Eye On

Intimate Stranger

Intimate Stranger feature image

46-year-old Megumi is a single mother who works at a baby clothing store. Her beloved 17-year-old son, Shinpei went missing a year ago, and she has desperately been looking for him ever since. One day, a shady young man, Yuji approaches her, saying that he knows her son’s whereabouts. Trying to find a lead, Megumi invites Yuji to stay with her. While trying to deceive Megumi, Yuji discovers a dark secret that is beyond his imagination. (Festival Scope)

Nakamura Mayu

Nakamura earned her MFA at the Graduate film Program at New York University. Her first narrative feature was 2006’s The Summer of Sticklebackwhich premiered in the competition section of the Busan International Film Festival. She then moved into documentary filmmaking with the feature Lonely Swallows-Living as the Children of Migrant Workers which followed Japanese-Brazilian children struggling to survive in Japan and Brazil. It won the Documentary Grand Prix at the Brazilian Film Festival. Her next documentary was Alone in Fukushima which focuses on a man who has stayed in Fukushima’s nuclear zone to attend to animals left behind there. She recently returned to narrative movies with the short form portrait of isolation during the pandemic, Among Four of Us, which won the Japan Cuts Awards at the 2021 Osaka Asian Film Festival.

Among Four of Us image
Among Four of Us ©Omphalos Pictures

With Intimate Stranger, her award-winning thriller, she wanted to portray middle-aged Japanese women in a more seductive context amid the waves of Japanese movies starring young starlets. Once again influenced by the pandemic, Nakamura’s story’s are undoubtedly informed by social issues and current events and her next feature which she is currently developing is no exception. It will shed light on “another group not often portrayed in Japanese film: the non-binary community. Nakamura says she has had difficulty convincing Japanese producers to let her cast non-binary actors and has decided to set the film in the US instead. ‘Hopefully, by making this film in the US, it will have international impact, but also help change the climate surrounding sexual minorities in Japan….'” (Screen Daily)