The Creative Treatment of Grierson in Wartime Japan

Co-organized by National Film Archive of Japan
with the generous support of Kinoshita Group

October 12–14   [Venue] Yamagata Museum of Art 1

When the term “documentary” arrived in Japan, what was it contemporary filmmakers meant when they debated the “creative treatment of actuality”? Kinship with the origin of this idea—the British Documentary Film Movement, represented here by John Grierson’s pioneering work Drifters—may be seen in the lyricism of People Burning Coal, while the dynamic sound recorded on location for Train C57 and Unknown People resonates with Shipyard. Also screened will be Kobayashi Issa, that speaks of daily life in haiku, Record of a Nursery, made together with its subjects, and Turksib, also a model for Japanese documentary filmmakers of the era. A broad palette of wartime film experiments unearths an eloquence that still speaks to us today.

People Burning Coal  Dir: Atsumi Teruo / 1940
Drifters  Dir: John Grierson / 1929
Train C57  Dir: Imaizumi Yoshitama / 1940
Unknown People  Dir: Asano Tatsuo / 1940
Shipyard  Dir: Paul Rotha / 1935
Kobayashi Issa  Dir: Kamei Fumio / 1941
Record of a Nursery  Dir: Mizuki Soya / 1941
Turksib  Dir: Victor A. Turin / 1929
and more