Perspectives Japan

Inquires from “Japan”

These films in this program depict things concerning Japan from unique points of view. Ushiku is an indictment against the inhumane detention and harm to human dignity taking place at a state-run facility in Ushiku City. The film raises a serious issue, that those who wield authority are unable to see the boundary line across which the exercise of that authority becomes reckless. Whiplash of the Dead weaves together memories linked to a university student who lost his life near Haneda Airport during the First Haneda Struggle in 1967. The demands to power that were the student movement have ultimately not been so easily answered by history. This film strongly poses questions about how to confront personal memory and turn it productively toward the future. BETWEEN YESTERDAY & TOMORROW Omnibus 2011/2016/2021 is an omnibus film conceived and realized by four filmmakers across the ten years that have elapsed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. This tenth-year edition contains twelve five-minute films created by these filmmakers according to a set of instructions from the producer, films that go back and forth between yesterday and tomorrow. I enthusiastically encourage viewers to witness how moments emerging in the here and now of each filmmaker intermingle richly with the past and future. Transform! explores questions about what the body and what expression are, through the act of filmmaking—at heart, perhaps it is questioning the nature of cinema itself. This film enables us as viewers to share the experiences of the filmmaker, who reacts with surprise and joy as disability becomes expression. And in I Remember, the filmmaker brings out the memories of ten people with deep roots in the Tottori region. These respective memories, recounted in regional dialect in front of the camera, are preserved for posterity through film.

These films resist being grouped together under the name “Japan,” representing the paths that each respective filmmaker has taken through arduous efforts of thought and reflection. It is up to viewers to decide how to look at these various approaches to expression, and what to think having done so.

Kato Hatsuyo
Program Coordinator