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May 2012, Week 1


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Sat, 5 May 2012 11:53:00 -0400
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Aaron Gerow <[log in to unmask]>
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If I may, this an announcement about the distribution of some Japanese and Chinese documentaries that I am involved in. Many take up important social and political issues, some of which are quite relevant today. Kamanaka's films in particular have been taking up the issue of nuclear power in Japan long before Fukushima.

Aaron Gerow
Yale University

<産地直送 The Filmmakers' Market> at Zakka Films is our unique section for selling documentaries that breaks down the walls separating Japanese filmmakers and foreign viewers and allows filmmakers to bring their English-subtitled works in for direct sale. 

We are now excited to present a new documentary from Osaka which recently joined the Filmmakers' Market!

MAPPING THE FUTURE, NISHINARI  Directors: Yukio Tanaka, Tetsuo Yamada
Nishinari in Osaka is home to one of Japan's largest and most famous concentrations of day laborers, with much of the population being composed of homeless persons, buraku (a discriminated community of descendants of outcast groups), former yakuza, and Korean-Japanese. One fourth of the families receive welfare, a very high rate for Japan. Filmed over two years, this documentary follows Mr. Suzuki, who was once on the verge of becoming homeless himself, as he works at the Life Support Office, an NPO that helps the homeless with medical treatment, accommodations, and employment. Composed of interviews with Suzuki, the NPO staff, and the residents of Nishinari, the film also explores stereotypes of Nishinari held by outsiders, and the complex history of the district, presenting rare archival footage of the 1961 Kamagazaki Riot. This documentary tries to present the voices of the people of Nishinari, not from on high, but rather from their own level.
Mapping the Future Nishinari was voted as the third best documentary of 2007 in the Kinema Junpo poll of critics.

Also check out these other films at the FM:

ROKKASHO RHAPSODY  Director: Hitomi Kamanaka
In 2004 the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant was completed in Rokkasho village as a facility for reprocessing spent fuel from Japan's nuclear reactors into plutonium. The film spotlights the people of the village, who hold diverse opinions regarding this huge, nearly operational national project.

ECHOES FROM THE MIIKE MINE   Director: Hiroko Kumagai
The story of the Miike Coal Mine, the largest mine in Japan, which ceased operations on March 30, 1997. Hiroko Kumagai interviewed over 70 individuals, men and women, including Koreans who were forcibly brought to Japan. The film looks at Miike not just to explore the past, but also to think about the future: what it means to work and to live.

BREAKING THE SILENCE  Director: Toshikuni Doi
In the spring of 2002, the Israeli army surrounded and attacked the Balata refugee camp. The camera follows residents living in a state of terror and records their lives and feelings.

ARTISTS OF WONDERLAND  Director: Makoto Sato
This is a film about seven artists. It's also about seven people who are mentally handicapped. This has all the marks of a Makoto Sato film: the quirky humor and passion for everyday human life.

BINGAI  Director: Feng Yan
Bingai, a Chinese documentary by Feng Yan-a director deeply inspired by Shinsuke Ogawa-has just been added to the Filmmakers' Market at Zakka Films. Bingai won the Ogawa Shinsuke Prize (the grand prize of the Asia Program) at the Yamagata Film Festival.

Thank you very much.


Seiko Ono
Zakka Films 

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite