Be More Human—Kokuro’s 15-Year Struggle

(“Hitorashiku ikiyo—Kokuro fuyu monogatari”)
Director: MATSUBARA Akira, SASAKI Yumi

2001 Japanese Subtitled in English Color Video 100 min

Production Company: Video Press
Photography: MATSUBARA Akira
Editing: MATSUBARA Akira, SASAKI Yumi
Music: TANAKA Tetsuro, MURAKAMI Eiji
  International Sales: Video Press
2-22-17-403 Mukaihara, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-0036 JAPAN
Phone: 81-3-3530-8588
Fax: 81-3-3530-8578
E-mail: mgg01231@nifty.ne.jp
URL: www.vpress.jp

[Festivals and prizes] Yamagata IDFF 2003

[Synopsis] Former national railway union members have been fighting against ruthless layoffs and demotions since the company’s privatization in 1987. They have suffered continuing harassment and discrimination because of their opposition to the division and privatization of the company, and many have been fired. The filmmakers seek to address the question of why these people—both those who have been fired and those who have remained—choose not to leave the union, and instead endure the extreme situation with which they are faced. Using video to network with labor movements in Taiwan and Korea, the filmmakers explore the potential of grassroots alternative media activism through works like this.


Have been making independent documentaries on the division and privatization of Japan National Railway since 1986. In 1989 founded the video production house Video Press, which works to create videos on topics such as human rights and the environment. Their documentary Watching from Behind was screened at YIDFF ’99.

MATSUBARA Akira, SASAKI Yumi | Watching from Behind | Be More Human—Kokuro’s 15-Year Struggle