Manzan Benigaki (Red Persimmons)

Director: OGAWA Shinsuke, PENG Xiaolian

2001 Japanese Subtitled in English Color 16mm 90 min

Production Company: Production Committee and others
Producer: SUGANO Kenkichi, SHIRAISHI Yoko, YASUI Yoshio
Photography: TAMURA Masaki, LIN Jong
Music: Jomon Daiko
Sound: KUBOTA Yukio
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[Synopsis] Chinese female director Peng finishes the late Ogawa’s final project: a record of a dying Japanese delicacy.
Ogawa Shinsuke’s films about peasants fighting for their land in 1970s Narita and the rice-growing communities in Yamagata in the 1980s left their trace on many contemporary filmmakers, including those in Asia. An old friend of his, Peng was asked to finish Ogawa’s final project, which she did brilliantly. Using film footage and notes Ogawa left, Peng shot additional film and completed a elegant film about the red persimmon and the people who have carried on the age-old processing trade. With a comprehensive view spanning a decade, the film illustrates the world of this small but strangely charming fruit and of the people who continue to live in the area of Kaminoyama.

OGAWA Shinsuke, PENG Xiaolian

Ogawa was born in 1936, died in 1992. Films like The Oppressed Students (1967) were shown around Japan and promoted the student movement. Summer in Narita (1968) launched his Narita series and a collective filmmaking group which lived together on location for years. Moved to Yamagata and filmed A Japanese Village—Furuyashikimura (1982), Magino Village—A Tale (1986) and other films.
Peng gained a BFA from Beijing Film Academy in 1982. She completed her filmmaking doctorate at NYU in 1994. Major works include Me and My Classmates (1986) and A Woman’s Story (1988).