Yamagata and Film

October 7, 12

The Yamagata and Film special program began in 2007 when management of the YIDFF was transferred from the city of Yamagata to a publicly owned NPO, as an effort to locate the Yamagata that has nurtured the film festival. The acts of reaching out to touch the world and rooting to a sense of place are deeply connected. While Yamagata and Film began as a program addressing films about Yamagata, it also touches on film’s relationship to the region, having expanded to encompass films from Yamagata and turning our attention to works and the film scene that has emerged in the region itself. This program will meditate on the reflections and changing values about that which has been lost in Yamagata to a continually changing world, while remaining connected to the land and the origins of the YIDFF.

A Movie Capital
JAPAN / 1991 / 98 min
Director: Iizuka Toshio

This film is a record of the first Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. It reflects the various ways the festival was given shape by nascent global changes embodied by Perestroika, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and many other contemporaneous events.

Oct. 12 19:00

The World’s “Top” Theater
JAPAN / 2017 / 67 min
Directors: Sato Koichi

This film attempts to recover the creative spirit and passions that connect a local theater and its home through the testimony of the community around the beloved Green House Theater, which started and was destroyed by the 1976 Great Fire of Sakata.
Supported by Yamagata University’s Institute of Visual Culture Studies
Produced by YIDFF

Oct. 12 15:00

Pickles and Komian Club
JAPAN / 2021 / 105 min
Director: Sato Koichi

Questions and heartbreak emerge from the closing of long-established pickled foods store, Maruhachi Yatarazuke, whose 135-year operation was brought to an abrupt end during the pandemic. The film follows the store owner, forced to make a difficult decision, and those who freely gathered at the store and supported the space. *No English subtitles
Produced by the Komian Production Committee

Oct. 7 18:30

The Buddha Mummies of North Japan
JAPAN, CANADA / 2017 / 20 min
Director: Watanabe Satoshi

Yamagata Prefecture is known to be a holy site for “living Buddhas”—monks who underwent live self-mummification through ascetic practices. This film opens up the world of belief through an introduction to rare funerary rites of transformation and austere the practice of becoming a “living buddha.”

Oct. 12 12:00