MINAMATA Mandala

  • 372'
  • Japan
  • 2020

An epic tale of struggle and commitment. Shot over 15 years, Hara Kazuo’s film documents the arduous legal and medical battles endured by the residents of Minamata, a city in southern Japan whose name has become synonymous with the infamous neurological disease. Sixty years since industrial wastewater from a chemical factory caused an outbreak of severe mercury poisoning, Minamata patients and their families continue to fight for legal recognition and compensation.

Picking up where Tsuchimoto Noriaki left off with his own decades-long film series covering the issue, Hara Kazuo − considered his generation’s documentary master − displays headstrong patience and allegiance to his subjects, something that has become characteristic of his late-career period of prolific filmmaking. The monumental running time is more than warranted, as it gives space for the vibrant personalities of these committed fighters to shine through, showing them to be more than just victims.

Director
Hara Kazuo
Premiere
European premiere
Country of production
Japan
Production Year
2020
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Length
372'
Medium
DCP
Language
Japanese
Producer
Kobayashi Sachiko
Production Company
Shisso Production
Sales
Media Space Inc.
Cinematography
Hara Kazuo
Editor
Hata Takeshi
Sound Design
Ogawa Takeshi
Music
Yamasaki Vukelic Hisashi
Cast
Kawakami Toshiyuki, Ikoma Hideo, Mizoguchi Akio, Sakamoto Shinobu