Japan Foundation Documentary Event: Ogawa Shinsuke and Ogawa Pro: Collective filmmaking and the culture of dissidence

At a time I am currently working on a documentary in Japan I get an email about a cool season of Japanese documentaries filmed by indie creatives. The Japan Foundation and Institute of Contemporary Arts have teamed up for a retrospective of the documentaries of Shinsuke Ogawa and his acolytes. The event starts on November 17th and lasts until December 11th and it features films that chart the tumultuous period of the ‘60s and ‘70s when there were many student protests and a lot of social change as Japan modernised itself and controversial defence treaties were signed with the US which was embroiled in the Vietnam war. This is the best line-up of Japanese documentaries I have seen in the West so far and so it’s a great chance to learn more not just about Japan but filmmaking. I have written about one of these films (the Narita airport one) and recognise a couple of others but Japanese documentaries are a blindspot I have yet to watch any listed here so this I would have loved to see. Here’s a trailer:

There is a generous selection of films programmed and a generous range of prices on offer in terms of tickets so if you like the sound of this then you had better book it now because the event starts soon. If you need convincing then check out what Peter Bradshaw has to say over at The Guardian.

Here is information from the event organisers:

The ICA proudly presents a film retrospective of the documentaries of Ogawa Shinsuke (1936-1992) and the collective of Japanese filmmakers Ogawa Pro, founded in the late 1960s under his direction. Documenting the student struggles and the Sanrizuka protests from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s, these films recorded major political and social upheavals in Japan with remarkable dedication and commitment. These works were a formidable force in postwar independent Japanese cinema, and their influence is still felt today in Asian documentary filmmaking.

Multibuy ticket offer: book tickets for 2-5 screenings and get them for £9 each, or 6-9 screenings and get them for £8 each.

To find out more information including trailers of the films and how to buy tickets, head over to the ICA website.

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