• Kyodo

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An international film festival will be held Sept. 1 in Tokyo focusing on how to secure water resources around the world.

Five films will be presented at the International Water Film Festival 2012, including “Even the Rain,” a social drama produced jointly by Spain, France and Mexico that depicts how people in Bolivia, where overseas companies have a monopoly on water supply in part of the country, have suffered as a result of a drastic increase in water fees.

The festival will be held at United Nations University in Shibuya Ward.

One of the films is a documentary about a doctor’s half-century struggle to treat Minamata disease, which was caused by mercury contamination in the sea and rivers. The doctor, Masazumi Harada, continued to see patients and support their efforts to seek redress until his death in June at age 77.

“Damage caused by contaminated waste water in Minamata still continues, and we now face more water contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear crisis,” said Shoko Uchida, secretary general of the Pacific Asia Resource Center, a nonprofit organization sponsoring the event with other groups. “This film festival will provide the viewers with an opportunity to think about how we should tackle the mistakes we have made while pursuing economic and industrial growth.”

The festival’s other films are from India, Indonesia and the United States.

The U.S. film “CRUDE” is about health damage suffered by indigenous people in Ecuador as a result of waste dumped in the ground in the process of drilling for crude oil. The harmful materials leeched into river and groundwater, causing disabilities in babies and cancers among those who eat fish caught in the river and drink its water.

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