|New Docs Japan|
Fence Part One: Lost Paradise, Part Two: Fragmented Stratum(“Fence I: Shitsurakuen II: Danzetsu sareta chiso”)
JAPAN / 2008 / Japanese / Color / Video (HD) / 167 min
Director: Fujiwara Toshi
Photography: Otsu Koshiro
Sound: Kubota Yukio, Yasuoka Takaharu, Matsubayashi Yoju
Production Companies: Yasuoka Films, Compass Films
World Sales: Compass Films
Requisitioned by the Japanese military during World War II and taken over by the US Navy after the war, Ikego Village and Kashiwabara Village remain “occupied” to this day. Former villagers live with their eyes on the mountain, once their local commons, now on the other side of a fence. This film shares their memories of living in the midst of nature, while illuminating how postwar Japan has dealt with a place laden with historic contradictions—or perhaps has avoided doing so.
[Director’s Statement] As the filmmaker, I personally don’t want this to be seen as a political film about the US military presence in Japan. This diptych is about the Japanese idea of home that can no longer be seen, about the inability to see, about memories. And though I had no personal connection to Ikego before making this, I hope that my deep personal feelings can be felt somewhat in all of what we show and what we chose not to show.
Born in Yokohama, Fujiwara grew up in Tokyo and Paris. After studying cinema at Waseda University and at the University of Southern California, he worked as a film critic before making his directorial debut in 2002. His experimental improvisational fiction film We Can’t Go Home Again premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2006 and gained international attention.