New Docs Japan

Presenting ten films that penetrate Japanese society from multiple perspectives, by accomplished directors including those who reside abroad, and those who originate from abroad. The gazes and expressions of filmmakers who continue tackling documentary film—that experiment in memory of the past—resonate in the land of Yamagata.

Venues: Yamagata Citizens’ Hall (Large Hall, Small Hall)

Fence   Part One: Lost Paradise, Part Two: Fragmented Stratum
JAPAN / 2008 / Video / 167 min
Director: Fujiwara Toshi

Memories of a village’s mountain cut off by a U.S. Navy base fence, and life as it is now. How did Japanese society face the historic contradictions of the post-war era?

Oct. 11 CL

Annyong Yumika
JAPAN / 2009 / Video / 119 min
Director: Matsue Tetsuaki

This docu-entertainment film brings together thoughts and feelings of people who knew Hayashi Yumika, an actress who passed away before her time.

Oct. 10 CL

Ultimate Land—A Year of Iwasaki Onikenbai
JAPAN / 2008 / Video / 161 min
Director: Miyake Nagaru

Iwasaki onikenbai, a local performing art passed down in an Iwate Prefecture farming village. This film documents a tradition ingrained in the body of each villager.

Oct. 13 CL

Hongara—Sacred Torch
JAPAN / 2008 / Video / 88 min
Director: Nagaoka Noa

Omi Hachiman City senior citizens join forces to revive the Hongara torch! A story of regional revitalization, leading up to the thrilling day of the event.

Oct. 13 CL

Field Feet
JAPAN / 2008 / 8mm / 70 min
Director: Onishi Kenji

An attempt to piece together one’s own identity from fragments of memory on 8mm film, and return to the origins of film.

Oct. 9 CS

Memory of spider and moth
JAPAN / 2008 / Video / 33 min
Director: Omori Hiroki

Fragments of time from ordinary life take on new meaning with fresh composition. A Tohoku University of Art & Design graduation piece.

Oct. 9 CS

Fat Chance
AUSTRALIA / 2008 / Video / 52 min
Director: Sekiguchi Yuka

An honest, humorous self-portrait of an obese Japanese-Australian filmmaker who sets out to lose weight but gains new perspectives on her past and personal identity.

Oct. 11 CL

Path of Anna—Yesterday Today Tomorrow 2
JAPAN, THAILAND / 2009 / Video / 70 min
Director: Naoi Riyo

A Japanese filmmaker living in Thailand gazes lyrically at the sun-drenched daily life of HIV-positive Anna and her family, revealing the sparkle of life.

Oct. 10 CL

Tanaka-san Will Not Do Calisthenics
AUSTRALIA / 2008 / Video / 75 min
Director: Maree Delofski

A humorous depiction of an usual friendship between Tanaka, who keeps up a protest in front of the company that fired him, and an Australian filmmaker who has come to Tokyo.

Oct. 12 CS

A Whispered Life
FRANCE / 2009 / Video / 110 min
Directors: Gilles Sionnet, Marie-Francine Le Jalu

French filmmakers quietly and lovingly contemplate the struggles of seven Japanese who pursue the meaning of life in reference to the writings of Dazai Osamu.

Oct. 9 CL