Camera Japan 2017 Preview: Documentaries

Camera Japan 2017 celebrates documentaries in this section. Japan is rich with documentarians who tackle a huge array of subjects and you cannot get a more disparate set of stories than here. Indeed, these films blow away typical ideas of what Japanese people are like by exploring subjects such as deafness, punk rock and gay prostitution. A deaf woman overcoming stereotypes through an epic cycle ride across the length of Japan, gay sex on offer in conservative Japan and the hetero and gay guys who sell it, a rock band recording strange sounds and encountering stranger situations. See the country as you’ve never seen it before and all from interesting and intimate angles.

All four of these titles have appeared at Nippon Connection over the last two years (three in 2017 and one in 2016) but I haven’t seen them programmed elsewhere so if you have a taste for documentaries and finding out what some lives are like in contemporary Japan then these three are going to be essential viewing.

Click on the titles to be taken to the corresponding festival page for more information. You can head to a larger overview of Camera Japan 2017 via this link.

Here’s the low-down on what has been programmed:

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A Preview of Camera Japan 2017

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Camera Japan 2017 starts in just under a months time in Rotterdam and Amsterdam and there is plenty to dig into so having the festival programme is a must. You can also read about the various films and events here on this site where I will have this guide complete with addresses and links to other, more detailed posts covering

Feature Films  |  Anime and Short Anime Films |  Documentaries

Special Screenings and Short Films   |   Workshops and Events

Check back over the week to read more!

So, what’s happening? Camera Japan starts off with a special event in Rotterdam on the 15th September at an artistic venue known as WORM. The event consists of a film screening and music. The film getting screened is Gui aiueo:S A Stone from Another Mountain to Polish Your Own Stone, an experimental black-and-white documentary film about a band travelling Japan and exploring different sounds and this is followed by a concert by Krautrock band Minami Deutsch who hail from Tokyo and sound like Kraftwerk.

The main body of the festival then starts with the Rotterdam run which will take place from 21st– 24th September at LantarenVenster and this is where the bulk of the films and events will be hosted. The festival then moves to Amsterdam from 29th September 01st October and there will be lots to see. I have added annotations to show what is being screened where. It’s needed because there is so much on offer.

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Documentaries at the Nippon Connection Film Festival 2017

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The Nippon Connection Film Festival takes place from May 23 to 28, 2017 and it will be held in Frankfurt am Main. The organisers released details of the 100+ short and feature length films that will be screened and there are many top titles that audiences can see to get a perfect snapshot of the myriad of stories and talents that the Japanese film industry is producing. There are a whole host of premieres and these will be shown in the presence of many directors and actors who will introduce and talk about their work to the audience. 

This post deals with documentaries that will be screened at the festival. They cover a wide variety of topics from the reactor meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in Abandoned Land and the evacuees to reclaim their hometown to Raise your Arms and Twist, in which the director Atsushi Funahashi observes the everyday life of the Japanese pop idol singers of the group NMB48. The director skillfully combines social and media critique without degrading the stars or their fans. Steven Okazaki’s Mifune: The Last Samurai portrays the life and work of legendary actor Toshiro Mifune, who has written film history through his cooperation with Akira Kurosawa whilein her film 95 and 6 to Go young American filmmaker Kimi Takesue explores the history of her Japanese ancestors who emigrated to Hawaii, taking the conversations with her grandfather as a starting point.

Here’s the line-up:

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