Mom's anti-nuclear stance inspires film

Jan 27, 2015

Mom's anti-nuclear stance inspires film

by Keiji Hirano

In the days of uncertainty immediately following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, documentary filmmaker Masako Sakata turned to a book written by her late mother, an anti-nuclear campaigner, to try to make sense of what was happening. The book, “Please Listen,” is a ...

Documentary festival delivers an encore to Tokyo audiences

Jan 15, 2015

Documentary festival delivers an encore to Tokyo audiences

by Mike Sunda

Last November, Japan Times film critic Kaori Shoji predicted that the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival’s (YIDFF) program of screenings would slant toward sociopolitical analysis, focusing on substance over style. Audiences must have welcomed this weighty exposition of the documentary format, as the success ...

'Small fry' who went rogue: How Paris attack suspect turned killer

Jan 9, 2015

'Small fry' who went rogue: How Paris attack suspect turned killer

When French anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Louis Bruguiere first clapped eyes on Cherif Kouachi 10 years ago, his first impression was that he was a “small fry.” His second impression: the man was a killer. With Kouachi, 32, now targeted in one of France’s biggest manhunts ...

Documentaries at the margins of modern life

Nov 26, 2014

Documentaries at the margins of modern life

by Kaori Shoji

There is no film festival in Japan quite like the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF). Going against the current of easy entertainment and mind-numbing CGI, the festival is a solid, seriously cinematic event held in Yamagata every two years. From its inception in ...

Documentary shines light on new dementia therapy

Mar 30, 2014

Documentary shines light on new dementia therapy

by Hiroaki Matsuki

A TV producer is winning plaudits internationally for his documentary about an experimental study in the United States on elderly people with dementia that seeks to restore their identities and improve the quality of their final stages of life. With his English-language film titled ...

Sep 4, 2013

Director sheds light on Bikini Atoll

by Shin Hara

TV director Hideaki Ito could not stay silent when he learned that the Fukuryu Maru No. 5 was not the only victim of the 1954 hydrogen bomb test conducted by the United States in the Pacific, and that more Japanese fishing boats were exposed ...

Film depicts Okinawans' fight against Ospreys

Aug 12, 2013

Film depicts Okinawans' fight against Ospreys

by Mika Kurokawa

“The Targeted Village,” a documentary on the fight by Okinawa residents against the deployment of MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft at the Futenma air base, is showing in Tokyo theaters. Released Saturday, the 91-minute film is based on an award-winning TV program produced by ...