After documenting the struggles of the victims of mercury poisoning in Minamata, Tsuchimoto continued to make films about the life of these fishing communities. These two rarely screened films show another aspect of this work, revealing the networks of solidarity, activism and support established around the Minamata issue.
My Town, My Youth is an inspiring film shot twenty years after the official recognition of the disease and focuses on a group of young people (many born with the disease) as they mobilise to keep their cause visible by organising a concert by the popular enka singer Ishikawa Sayuri.
In the 1980s Tsuchimoto insisted on the need to keep the issue of Minamata alive to “raise awareness about new patients and resurrect the struggle”. In The Minamata Mural, he follows the artists Maruki Iri and Akamatsu Toshiko (also known as Maruki Toshi) as they paint a series of panels dedicated to the people of Minamata and their experiences. The two painters were socially engaged artists, known internationally for a series of artworks painted from 1950 to 1982 depicting the experience of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From 1979 to 1981 they spent time in Minamata, working and meeting with the community. The film shows Tsuchimoto’s great sensibilities with colour and editing as he draws yet another portrait of the people of Minamata and its landscape, showing us the work process of the two artists.
Sun, 18 Sep 2022
All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.
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