(Sore wa tonikaku mabushii)

JAPAN / 2023 / Japanese / Color, B&W / Digital File / 18 min

- Director, Photography, Editing: Hatano Shuhei
Source: Hatano Shuhei

April 2020. In a world where meeting friends was forbidden for an extended period of time, the director decided to shoot each day with no particular purpose in mind: the modest sparkle of the day to day with daughter and wife, fragments pieced together to form a letter to dear friends. Family daily life is reconstructed with a remarkable intuition, gradually creating a magical landscape that can be found nowhere else, leading us to a sense of life and death, and of a love of life which will be passed on, and on. An avant-garde home movie of forgetting and discovering. (NRY)

[Director’s Statement] No one told me to, but I simply decided to spend a year shooting every day. Looking back on that period, because I had to capture something with my camera every day, I had something to focus on; and because I kept shooting I also had something to think about. It wasn’t because there was anything specific I wanted to capture or record that I turned the camera on. Rather, first and foremost was the camera, so I performed the act of watching attentively for a year as if I was being forced by the camera to do so. In fact during this period, it might be fair to say that the camera was doing the watching, not me. The camera had become my new eyes. I also had a young child by my side, and her eyes were always wide open to the unknown, which gave me the eyes that I had forgotten.

There is a mural in our home that my daughter has been painting since she was born. She ignores her parent’s worries that the house is rented, and she draws elastic multicolored lines many times the length of her body all over the walls. Then, without even looking at the finished picture and taking satisfaction, she immediately draws and paints over it with new lines and colors. She doesn’t care if the previous pictures are covered and can’t be seen anymore. Before long, perhaps no longer satisfied with just drawing, she started to paste on photographs, stickers, and other things she had made, one on top of the next. She continued this way for five years, the mural ever growing, as if she had abandoned the idea of finishing it. Her approach is so pure and almost admirable, with her creative drive never exhausted. She seems interested only in playing on the wall with her paintbrush.

It made me decide to follow her lead and play around in the same way. First, I spent this out-of-the-ordinary year thinking about this machine called the camera, using it to play around with this world, with my daughter, with the seasons, with light—and with this film.

- Hatano Shuhei

Born in Kurayoshi City, Tottori in 1980. Graduated from Tama Art University’s Film and Drama Department and currently lives in Tokyo. His 2012 debut feature film Trail (2012) was released at Tokyo’s Eurospace and Osaka’s Dainana Geijutsu Gekijo theater. His cinepoem Origin of Shadows (2017) won the Grand Prize in the Short Film Competition section of the Tokyo Documentary Film Festival 2018. Hatano’s first feature-length documentary film I Remember (2021, YIDFF 2021) won the Best International Feature-Length Documentary Award at the Festival Film Dokumenter Yogyakarta 2022.