|New Docs Japan|
Tanaka-san Will Not Do Callisthenics
AUSTRALIA / 2008 / Japanese, English / Color / Video / 75 min
Director, Photography, Narrator, Producer: Maree Delofski
Editing: Morgan Gregory
Sound: Greg Fitzgerald
Music: Tanaka Hiroyuki, Tanaka Tetsuro, David Mitchell
Production Consultant: Mark Gregory
Production Company, World Sales: Blue Room Productions
Tanaka Tetsuro has been protesting for 25 years in front of the company that fired him, Delofski, an Australian filmmaker, got interested in him when she saw his website and came from Sydney to meet him in Tokyo. Tanaka keeps struggling within Japanese society to remain true to himself, with a distinctive, humor-filled manner all his own.
[Director’s Statement] A ripple effect caused by one man’s insistent, local action led to this film. To me, Tanaka-san’s quarter-century protest and the callisthenics he refused to do all those years ago seemed a striking metaphor. Many questions flow from it, such as How does one lead an ethical life? and What does it cost to stay true to yourself? Since I’m an outsider in Japan and in Tanaka-san’s life, in the film there are certainly little communication “misses” between us, sometimes humorous. I hope these reveal something about the way good grace can dissolve barriers. Dissolving barriers seems central to Tanaka-san’s philosophy, his music, and stubborn struggle.
Maree Delofski began filmmaking in London with the film workshop Cinema Action. Her documentaries, including Philippines My Philippines (1989, YIDFF ’89), A Calcutta Christmas (1998), and The Trouble with Merle (2002), have screened in Australia and internationally at film festivals and on television, receiving numerous awards and nominations. Delofski teaches at Macquarie University in Sydney.