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Film center commemorates Tsuchimoto

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The National Film Center in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward presents the works of Noriaki Tsuchimoto (1928-2008), a postwar documentary filmmaker, who is best known for an extensive series of films on Minamata disease, one of the worst industrial pollution-related illnesses in Japan’s history.

Tochigi native Tsuchimoto joined Iwanami Film Production in 1956 and worked on promotional films before making documentaries as a freelancer.

He first visited Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, to shoot a short documentary for TV. But a scolding from one victim caused him to rethink his approach to his craft.

To commemorate the first anniversary of Tsuchimoto’s death, the event showcases 23 documentaries, including 12 works on Minamata disease as well as some early promotional films.

“Noriaki Tsuchimoto: The Life of a Documentary Filmmaker” runs until Aug. 30 at the National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Tickets per screening are ¥500. For a full schedule and more information, visit www.momat.go.jp