From the YIDFF Office

2013-03-17 | Driving in a Wedge—Not to Forget
Screening Project “Cinema with Us—Not to Forget: Part 1”

It’s been two years since the unprecedented tragedy of March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake. So many important tasks are amass, that even we in Yamagata (not directly hit by the disaster) feel we can’t use the term “recovery” lightly. To tell the truth, I’m not really sure what has changed, or what we have achieved in the time since.

Meanwhile, time has flown by—irreversibly and fast. That’s why it’s important to keep reminding ourselves, occasionally, of what happened on March 11 and in the thereafter, in order to drive a wedge, so to speak, into the future—for which people in the local areas are working hard to achieve. And that should be done through action.

Our “wedge” as film people, was to organize “Cinema with Us—Not to Forget: Part 1”: a screening event at cinemas Forum Yamagata on March 1, 2, and 3. And because cinema demands an audience, we wanted as big an audience as possible to support the event, since wedge banging shouldn’t be one-sided.

Over three days, close to 1,000 viewers attended the event and engaged themselves in the films. The filmmakers came to Yamagata to meet the audience. It was the adjoining of individuals—filmmakers, film viewers, and organizers alike—who had shared the exposure to an overwhelming calamity and felt the need to deepen something through cinema and the collective experience. I felt this strongly in the intense atmosphere of the auditorium, and am convinced that, that in itself, had made the event worthwhile. I ruminate now, and am warmed by the afterglow. What will be the next wedge . . . ?

All my thanks to everyone who participated.

Takahashi Takuya (Yamagata Office Director)