Goodbye UR—Japanese Social Housing Crisis(Sayonara UR)
JAPAN / 2011 / Japanese / Color / Blu-ray / 73 min
Director, Photography, Editing, Producer, Source: Hayakawa Yumiko
Citing inadequate earthquake proofing, the Urban Renaissance Agency (UR, formerly the Japan Housing Corporation) orders the demolition of block 73 of the Takahatadai housing complex in Hino, Tokyo. The filmmaker becomes friendly with the residents, who are bewildered by the sudden decision and seek a reason. The filmmaker ventures out on her own in search of information, visiting a housing expert for an interview and later advancing upon the offices of UR and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. The filmmaker’s approach is filled with humor as she delves into Japan’s public-housing issue while also bringing to the surface other systemic problems of Japanese society.
[Director’s Statement] Elderly residents evicted from their apartments . . . People may see them as pitiable. But I gradually came under the influence of these evictees as they firmly and spiritedly stood up against their landlord (a government authority) as if to break through such an image.
Born in Tokyo in 1975. Studied law at Seikei University, and graduated from the London School of Journalism. Moved to England in 2007 with hopes of becoming a journalist, but was drawn to film production and started shooting documentaries. Her other films include Brian & Co. Parliament Square SW1 (2009).