The “Sweet bean” movie begins with a sequence of the main character Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase) walking up to the roof of his apartment building for a cigarette. He walks out of his apartment, up the steps, smokes, walks down the steps, and back into his place. Kawase’s patient camera, keen to silently observe motion and thereby her characters’ interaction with their environment, likens this doubled movement to breathing. The story is shaped by a similar oscillation: that of night and day. It revolves around Sentaro’s small shop, where he sells dorayaki, a mouth-watering Japanese dessert consisting of sweet bean paste (the “an” of the original Japanese title) sandwiched between two pancakes, and it mostly develops through a series of days at the shop.