Japanese

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

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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.


Shipyard  Dir: Paul Rotha / UK / 1935 / 24 min
Train C57  Dir: Imaizumi Yoshitama / JAPAN / 1940 / 45 min
Unknown People  Dir: Asano Tatsuo / JAPAN / 1940 / 12 min
Talk: Markus Nornes                 Oct. 12 10:50

People Burning Coal  Dir: Atsumi Teruo / JAPAN / 1940 / 19 min
The Ama Divers of Wagu  Dir: Ueno Kozo / JAPAN / 1940 / 25 min
Drifters  Dir: John Grierson / UK / 1929 / Silent / 48 min
Violin: Suzuki Takashi                 Oct. 13 10:50

Hakumo Line  Dir: Morii Teruo / JAPAN / 1941 / 21 min *Partial version
Turksib  Dir: Victor A. Turin / USSR / 1929 / Silent / 74 min
Violin: Suzuki Takashi
Talk: Anastasia Fedorova             Oct. 13 13:40

Coal Face  Dir: Alberto Cavalcanti / UK / 1935 / 11 min
Night Mail  Dir: Harry Watt, Basil Wright / UK / 1936 / 24 min
Kobayashi Issa  Dir: Kamei Fumio / JAPAN / 1941 / 27 min
Living by the Earth  Dir: Miki Shigeru / JAPAN / 1941 / 9 min *Partial version
Village of Stone  Dir: Kyogoku Takahide / JAPAN / 1940 / 10 min   Oct. 13 16:40

Housing Problems  Dir: Arthur Elton, E. H. Anstey / UK / 1935 / 15 min
Village without a Doctor  Dir: Ito Sueo / JAPAN / 1940 / 13 min
Renovating Farm Houses  Dir: Noda Shinkichi / JAPAN / 1941 / 20 min *Postwar version
Record of a Nursery  Dir: Mizuki Soya / JAPAN / 1941 / 35 min *Postwar version
Talk: Okada Hidenori                 Oct. 14 10:50