|Japanese Panorama||Publications / index / Japanese Panorama|
|Director: Mori Tatsuya
Photography, Editing: Mori Tatsuya, Yasuoka Takaharu
Producer: Yasuoka Takaharu, "A" Production Commitee
Source: "A" Production Commitee
6-7-9-202 Matsubara, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-0043 JAPAN
Phone: 81-3-3324-8626 / Fax: 81-3-3327-6971
JAPAN /1997 / Japanese / Color / Video / 130 min
Documentary usually exposes social evils by championing the side
of the just minority, the oppressed few who struggle for what
is right in the face of the machinations of the corrupt and powerful.
Aum Supreme Truth, the subject of A, is by no means a righteous underdog, however. Led by their mad
guru, Asahara Shoko, many of the cult's believers killed dozens
in chemical attacks, assassinations, and even lynchings of their
own members. The police responded with a full-scale assault, arresting
hundreds in a shocking drama that kept most Japanese glued to
their televisions for over a year.
His decision to use that video to free the believer is also Mori's
statement on documentary, on the necessity to complicate the narrative
simplicities of good versus evil, as well as on the importance
of a commitment to human values. Against a mass media that demonized
the cult members, fomenting a hysteria which rendered them inhuman
and thus without rights, Mori emphasizes their all-too human side.
And when he shows one's visit to his grandmother--a taboo in Aum
society--he underlines that it is human contact, not ostracism
nor police and media brutality, that will solve the evils of both
Aum and normal society.
|Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee|