An Interview with Osawa Mirai, Okamoto Kazuki (Directors)
Let’s All Talk About Ogawa Productions
Q: Why did you decide to film the statements of Ogawa Productions staff members and Magino village residents?
Okamoto Kazuki: It all started when Iizuka Toshio, ex-assistant director for Ogawa Productions, came to me and said, “I’m going to Ogawa’s grave for the first time (for his jusan kaiki, the twelfth anniversary of his death), so why don’t you come and film it?” I knew next to nothing about Ogawa before I entered the Film School of Tokyo, but when I saw Magino Village—A Tale for the first time, I thought, “Wow!” Rather than simply a document of the village, it felt like the film was engraved on the history of the village itself. I wanted to make a film to explore what that meant.
Q: How did you approach the village residents?
Osawa Mirai (OM): At first we tried shooting the remains of the houses in Furuyashikimura and the shrine that appeared in Magino Village, but then it came to us: we realized that instead of searching for “traces” of Ogawa, the only proper way to go about it was to speak one by one to the village residents who were so deeply involved with Ogawa at the time. Many of them didn’t want to dwell on “the past” and were reluctant to talk, but when we visited their homes and created a proper space in which to talk, they all became very lively an shared their recollections. Some of them talked to us while saying, “this is the first and the last time . . .” I was impressed that they were willing to cooperate with the film while holding such complex feelings about the past.
Q: And now that the documentary is complete, it will be screened at Yamagata.
OM: Ogawa involved the whole village in the making of his film, but his words can’t be completely captured within the frameworks of “film” or “documentary.” I think they reach out to become something more universal than that. I want to use this screening as an opportunity to remember and talk with the fans, staff, and village residents about what kind of person Ogawa was.
(Compiled by Sato Hiroaki)
Interviewer: Sato Hiroaki
Photography: Kato Hatsuyo / Video: Kato Takanobu / 2005-09-24 / in Tokyo