December January November

Director Tsuchimoto Noriaki Japan 1971

120 Min., 16mm, OV with English subs

水俣-患者さんとその世界 Minamata - Kanjasan to sono sekai | Minamata - The Victims and Their World
In the coastal town of Minamata in Kyūshū one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in postwar Japan unfurls over decades before the eyes of authorities and locals. From 1932 to 1968, the Chisso Corporation, a pioneering Japanese chemical company producing fertilizers, systematically dumped its untreated, methylmercury and other heavy metal infused wastewater into the surrounding Shiranui Sea. Despite the hazardousness of the effluent being confirmed by 1957, government inaction meant the horrendous effects of the pollution would eventually emerge in the health of the local fishermen and their livelihood. On the basis of his long-running personal involvement with the subjects, Tsuchimoto presents an empathetic, ethically just and political documentary, shedding light onto a series of events that would forever scar people's lives and their environment. A landmark in socially-engaged documentary filmmaking, Minamata – The Victims and Their World moves, enrages, inspires.

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