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A Burning Star

Director, Script, Photography, Editing, Sound, Appearance,Producer: Onishi Kenji
6-B Hoshino Dai 7 Bldg. 3-47-20 Ogikubo, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 167-0051
Phone & Fax: 81-3-3220-8254
JAPAN / 1995 / No Dialogue / Color / 16mm / 98 min

Onishi Kenji

Born in 1973. Began making 8mm films in 1990 and has made over 100 films including short works. Recently has focused on longer 16mm films such as Squareworld ("Sukueawaarudo," 1995) and continues to direct problematic and radical films like Aquarium City ("Suiso toshi," 1996) that have attracted international attention. Onishi is unique in his filmmaking style and is known for his personal stance and global activities. At present he is preparing his first feature film for theatrical release Ant Farm ( "Ari no nojo" ).


A Burning Star depicts the physicality of destruction and disappearance through images of the Japanese filmmaker's father who dies and is cremated. Maintaining a solid rhythm and perspective, this film highlights the meaning and importance of "viewing" and "filming" in documentary.

Director's Statement

I think the camera is the most important aspect of the absolute process of expression. I've interpreted Vertov's "camera eye" in a personal way adopting an Onishi style camera eye. In A Burning Star ("Shosei") my inner conflicts find a cruel form. Through the camera I come to terms with my father's death. It's only natural that a person should tremble, hesitate, feel sad and be afraid. As the director, I can erase all of that. That's the unique power of the author. The camera is merely a tool to give it a form. When I turned the camera to the subject of death I felt no need to prepare humane justifications, a methodological structure nor escape routes. In A Burning Star the camera confronts the problem of death. Through the act of filming I recorded the distance between my father and myself. It is a primitive, simple and absolute film. In short, it is the possibility of my own self.


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee