Japanese documentarian Hirokazu Kore-eda made his first dramatic feature with this austere drama, which recalls the visual and narrative style of Yasujiro Ozu. Yukimo (Makiko Esumi) is married to Ikuo (Tadanobu Asano), a happy and humble man who loves her very much.
While Yukimo and Ikuo are content in their marriage and have a beautiful infant son named Yuichi, Yukimo is haunted by visions of death. She has a recurring nightmare in which her grandmother leaves her home to go to the village of her birth to die, as Yukimo weeps uncontrollably.
Yukimo's sad obsession foreshadows a real tragedy in her life when she wakes one morning to discover that police are at her door -- Ikuo has died after apparently committing suicide along the nearby railroad tracks.
Yukimo is shattered and spends several years in solitude, until she meets Tamio (Taketoshi Naito), a widowed fisherman who lives in a nearby village with his daughter. They fall in love, and Yukimo marries him and moves into his home.
She begins to find happiness anew, until she returns to her old home for her brother's wedding, which brings back a flood of troubling memories. Maboroshi no Hikari (which translates as Illusory Light) was a multiple award winner at the 1995 Venice International Film Festival.