It is almost time for a new edition of CAMERA JAPAN, a festival of Japanese film, but also an event that welcomes art, music, dance, fashion, food and more. From 25 until 29 September you are welcome in Rotterdam to see films and from 3 until 6 October in Amsterdam. It is the 14th edition and the theme for this year is Youth.
With all the news about Japan’s rapidly ageing population and alarming headlines about the extremely low birth rate, one might wonder what is happening with the youth of Japan. That’s exactly what CAMERA JAPAN wants to discover in this year’s theme programme, which showcases films that are either made by or revolve around young people.
As always we picked out five films you can’t miss during the event.
1. 12 Suicidal Teens
When 12 teenagers gather in an abandoned hospital to commit suicide, they stumble upon the body of a dead boy. Together they must figure out if he has been murdered, and if so, who among them might be the murderer. Clever, thoughtful and emotional whodunnit that goes a lot deeper than similar films from the past.
12 Suicidal Teens (2019) will have its European premiere at CAMERA JAPAN. The film is directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi (Tsutsumi Yukihiko), a television and film director who started out with commercials and video clips. The film will be screened on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 September in Rotterdam.
2. Sending Off
Dr. Kaoru Konta (Konta Kaoru) and her team of nurses provide hospice care to patients in their homes in rural Japan. The changing seasons provide a backdrop to the deepening relationships the patients form with their families as they reach the end of their lives. A powerful and respectful documentary that challenges viewers to think about how they live their own lives, and how they would like to die. Winner of the Nippon Docs Award 2019 at Nippon Connection (Frankfurt, Germany).
Sending Off (2019) by director Ian Thomas Ash, known for documentaries In the Grey Zone (2012) and A2-B-C (2013) about children living in the areas of Fukushima, contaminated by the 2011 nuclear meltdown. You can see the film on Saturday 28 September in Rotterdam and Saturday 5 October in Amsterdam.
3. Until Rainbow Dawn
Made with a predominantly deaf cast and crew, we follow two deaf women who fall in love with each other. While trying to accept themselves for who they are, they try to reach out to others to find support and affirmation.
Until Rainbow Dawn (2018) by director Mika Imai is part of the Queer shorts during CAMERA JAPAN, planned for screening on Thursday 26 September, Friday 27 September in Rotterdam and Sunday 6 October in Amsterdam.
4. Love At Least
Manically-depressed Yasuko is riddled with guilt because her boyfriend is the breadwinner of their household. She tries to find a job, but to no avail. Then her boyfriend’s manipulative ex turns up out of the blue and forces Yasuko to make a decision. An often funny, poetic and dark story about love and mental health.
Love At Least (2018) by director Kosai Sekine will have its Dutch premiere during CAMERA JAPAN. Screenings are on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 September in Rotterdam and on Saturday 5 October in Amsterdam.
5. Fly Me to the Saitama
There is some animosity between the city of Tokyo and the neighbouring prefecture of Saitama. Tokyoites see the Saitamese as poor peasants, while the latter see the city-folk as snobbish and stuck-up. In this crowd-pleasing, colourful modern fable, the class war between city dwellers and small-town folk is sharply, but lovingly, satirised.
Fly Me to the Saitama (2019) by Hideki Takeuchi (Takeuchi Hideki) will have its Dutch premiere during CAMERA JAPAN and is based on the 1980s manga series of the same name. Musician GACKT is one of the actors in this film. On Saturday 28 September it is possible to watch the film in Rotterdam. On Saturday 5 October you can watch it in Amsterdam.
In Rotterdam LantarenVenster will be the location for the films and Worm, in Amsterdam Kriterion is the place to be for Japanese films presented by CAMERA JAPAN. More information about other films and programme can be found on the website of CAMERA JAPAN.
Source: CAMERA JAPAN