Shinsuke Ogawa (1935-1992) was one of Japan’s leading documentarians who inspired generations of non-fiction filmmakers to practice and participate in the power of dedicated, collective filmmaking. Ogawa lived and worked for years within the rural Japanese villages he and his collaborators documented, immersing themselves and forming deep relationships within the communities to film the everyday with the residents, rather than of them. This special presentation of two titles in their original 16mm format was organized in partnership with the Japan Foundation, with special thanks to Inge de Leewu, director of programming, Metrograph Pictures.
During his ten years living in the village of Magino, director Shinsuke Ogawa learned and filmed skills like rice-growing from his neighbors, resulting in this documentation of traditional Japanese farming and customs. According to film historian Markus Nornes, this film contains “all the themes Ogawa explored throughout his oeuvre: farming, state violence, resistance, modernization, and village time. The film…is a thoughtful meditation on history and the way it is never quite ‘past’ in village Japan.” (Shinsuke Ogawa, 1986, Japanese with English subtitles, 16mm, 222 minutes)
Part of the ongoing series Art Films and Special Screenings.