Kamei Fumio Retrospective [Pre-War Documentary Films]


(“Shina jihen koho kiroku: Shanhai”)
- 1938 / B&W / 16mm / 77 min

Photography: Miki Shigeru
Editing: Kamei Fumio
Sound: Kanayama Kinjiro
Location Sound: Fujii Shinichi
Music: Iida Nobuo
Narrator: Matsui Suisei
Production Company: Culture Films Department, Toho
Source: Nippon Eiga Shinsha

Cinematographer Miki Shigeru’s first work after moving to Toho. Miki is well known as the cameraman for Mizoguchi Kenji’s White Threads of the Waterfall (“Taki no shiraito,” 1933) and as the first ever to record a solar eclipse on film in The Black Sun (“Kuroi taiyo,” 1936). Miki’s liberal use of a mobile camera and of panorama shots coolly depicts Shanghai from the point of view of one person standing in a former battlefield. At the time, the British, French, German, and Japanese settlements were all adjacent to each other; relations between Japan and China remained tense and anti-Japanese resistance was thriving. A section of the city reduced to ruins after the Shanghai Incident and the aftermath of a fierce battle along a tributary to the Yangtze River in the city’s suburbs are photographed with great care. Kamei’s ability to compose a film supports Miki’s stirring material. This work was the first Japanese documentary to use on-location synchronized sound.

• Kamei Fumio Retrospective [Pre-War Works] Hiking Song | Shape without Shape | An Introduction to Radio: The Audience | School Broadcasting | The Geology of Fuji | Airspace [Pre-War Documentary Films] Shanghai | Peking | Fighting Soldiers | Kobayashi Issa [Post-War Documentary Films] A Japanese Tragedy | Children of the Base | The People of Sunagawa | Wheat Will Never Fall | Still It’s Good to Live | Record of Blood: Sunagawa | The World Is Terrified: The Reality of the “Ash of Death” | Living in a Rough Sea | Fluttering Pigeons | Voice of Hiroshima | Men Are All Brothers | Towards a World without Arms | All Must Live: People, Insects and Birds | All Living Things Are Friends—Lullabies of Birds, Insects and Fish [Feature Films] War and Peace | A Woman’s Life | Become a Mother, Become a Woman | Woman Walking Alone on the Earth [PR and Educational Films] Poem of Life | Invitation to Japanese Architecture | Penmanship | Quiet Construction Methods | Living with Ideas: A Profile of Sharp | Let’s Weave a Rainbow | Hong Kong, Taipei | Norihei Travel Manners | The Southern Cross Is Calling | Wishing for Tomorrow’s Happiness [Other Works] Underwear Makes the Woman | The Models and the Photographer | Kamei on Kamei: A Record of Yesterday’s Film Production Discussion Group | Human Conceit: The World of Director Kamei Fumio