YIDFF 2003 Information

New Docs Japan

At every YIDFF, sellout crowds gather for special screenings of Japanese films held from 21:00 at Muse, the venue for New Asian Currents. This popular program features Japanese documentaries that have gained a reputation at film festivals internationally, as well as works from some of this country’s most adept filmmakers.

Daughter from Yan’an
JAPAN / 2002 / Chinese / Color / 35mm / 120 min
Director: Ikeya Kaoru

A village girl reunites with her birth father after 30 years. Her parents were cadets sent to live in the country during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Winner of the grand prize for documentary at Karlo Vivary, this film has been acclaimed at Berlin, Montreal, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other international festivals.


Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom
JAPAN / 2002 / Japanese / Color / Video / 65 min
Director: Kawase Naomi

Photography critic Nishii Kazuo asks director Kawase Naomi to film the final days of his life. She captures this time as their “shared memory.” This work vividly depicts the strong connection between the filmmaker and her subjects; a quality also present in Kawase’s latest feature film Shara, currently playing in theaters nationwide.


JAPAN / 2003 / Japanese / Color / Video / 52 min
Director: Nakajima Takashi

A somewhat humorous visual essay growing out of five days from the director’s diary. Nakajima Takashi worked as magazine editor and curator for 30 years at Image Forum, the center for experimental film in Japan, before going freelance in order to focus on his filmmaking.


Now, Where, To?
JAPAN / 2001 / Japanese / Color / Video / 43 min
Director: Shirakawa Toshihiro

Sketches of the filmmaker’s parents’ everyday life at home in a shipbuilding company’s housing complex; ruins of deserted employee apartments. A personal memorandum about history and the future. After winning the Grand Prix at Image Forum Festival 2002, this work was invited to international film festivals such as Vancouver and Rotterdam.


Be More Human—Kokuro’s 15-year Struggle
JAPAN / 2001 / Japanese / Color / Video / 100 min
Director: Matsubara Akira, Sasaki Yumi

Former national railway union members have been fighting against ruthless layoffs and demotions since the company’s privatization in 1987. This documentary was made by Video Press, a production house which has continuously made video works about labor and environmental issues. Networking closely with labor movements in Taiwan and Korea, they pursue the potential of activism through grass-roots alternative media.

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