- Director: FUJIWARA Toshifumi
2002 French, English, Hebrew Subtitled in - Color Video 90 min
Original Score: Barre Phillips
Song performed by Elena Yaralova (“Song of Hope” Lyrics by Haim Nachman Bialik)
Additional Camera/Editorial Consultant: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Editorial Consultant: Marie-José Sansleme
Sound Supervisor: Michel Kharat
with: Amos Gitai, Marie-José Sansleme, Andrei Kashkar, Helena Yaralova, Laurent Truchot, Michel Kharat, Yorgos Arvanitis, Sari Turgeman, Laura Dinulescu, Ziv Koren, Juliano Merr, Moni Moshonov
Contact Name: Fujiwara Toshi
1-3-6 Shimo-Ochiai #431, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 161-0033 Japan
[Festivals and prizes] Chicago International Documentary Film Festival 2003
[Synopsis] In 2002, when Amos Gitai started the production of the film KEDMA, about the creation of the state of Israel, he invited a young Japanese filmmaker on the set. The latter, instead of shooting how the film was made, started to be interested in the many personal reminiscences of how this country, composed entirely of displaced people, was created. Instead of featuring the main actors and the director, the film focuses on the extras, the bit players and crew members; each of them having personal and family experiences very similar to what is dramatized in KEDMA, to the people from 48 years ago that they themselves are playing.
INDEPENDENCE is a meditation on the Diaspora experiences, on the ideas of national identity, on how a state and nation is created, with its ideologies, people’s needs of survival, and of the tragic contradiction of how a displaced people would push another people in the same difficult situation of being displaced. It is also a meditation about ‘history’ and the ‘present,’ about ‘reality’ and? ‘fiction’ in filmmaking.
Born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1970. He grew up in Tokyo and in Paris, and was educated in Tokyo and in Los Angeles. Since 1994, he works as film critic for several Japanese magazines, and simultaneously translates books on films and film subtitles. After making a few shorts in 2001, INDEPENDENCE is his first feature-length film. Since then he has made another documentary on Gitai’s activities, and two portraits of Japanese documentary masters: one on Tsuchimoto Noriaki and one on Hara Kazuo. He is currently working on an experimental fiction feature “We Can’t Go Home Again,” and a feature documentary project on the Japanese Imperial System entitled “The Emperor and I” for Les Films D’Ici.