Making a documentary on a crusading 90-year-old photojournalist who is famously fearless and uncompromising is not for the timid. Saburo Hasegawa, who has been directing television documentaries on a range of social issues since the 1990s, was initially afraid that his subject, Kikujiro Fukushima, might be as formidable as his body of work: 250,000 photographs taken over the course of six decades.

“But when I finally met him, he was as charming as could be,” Hasegawa tells The Japan Times in an interview at the office of Bitters End, the distributor that will release his film, “Nippon no Uso: Hodo Shashinka Fukushima Kikujiro 90-sai (Japan Lies)” on Aug. 4. “He was so nice that I wondered if he could still get angry,” he adds.

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