In July it was announced that there would be a physical edition of the 15th edition of CAMERA JAPAN. Due to the current ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, the organisation stated that the film festival will be a bit different than planned. The programme of the festival is now available with a selection of Japanese films and extra activities. Time to dive into the film schedule and make a list of 5 recommendations.
Voices in the Wind
A film by director Nobuhiro Suwa, who is known for M/Other (1999) and Yuki and Nina (2009) and works in Japan and France. Haru is the only one of her family to survive the tsunami in 2011. After the tragedy, she moved to Hiroshima to live with her aunt, but when the aunt is suddenly hospitalised, Haru decides to hitchhike back to her hometown Otsuchi. During her travels, she is told by several people about a so-called “wind telephone” in the village which can be used to call your deceased relatives.
Screenings: Saturday 26 September (Rotterdam), Sunday 27 September (Rotterdam), Friday 2 October (Amsterdam) | Tickets
Japanese title: 風の電話 (Kaze no denwa)
A film by Rikiya Imaizumi, a leading director of romance films in Japanese cinema today. Out of the blue, Shun is dumped by his boyfriend Nagisa after a brief but passionate relationship. Years go by, and suddenly Nagisa turns up together with his six-year-old daughter on Shun’s doorstep in search of a place to stay. Though reluctant, Shun takes both of them in. He has been able to hide his sexual orientation from the small countryside village where he has lived for a long time, but this sudden turn of events might change everything. This film will be shown for the first time in Europe.
Screenings: Friday 25 September (Rotterdam), Thursday 1 October (Amsterdam) | Tickets
Seven Days War
Adaptation of the satirical novella with the same name which got released in 1985. When rebellious Aya hears of her upcoming forced move to Tokyo, she decides to run away together with some of her classmates. Their hideout is an abandoned factory where they find a young Thai immigrant, who is also hiding away. When the immigration services try to infiltrate the factory, the friends are all determined to battle it out with the adults. Fascinating anime that touches on many themes from (illegal) immigration to corruption and power abuse, sexuality, and injustice. This anime film by director Yuta Murano will be having its Dutch premiere at CAMERA JAPAN.
Screenings: Thursday 24 September (Rotterdam), Saturday 26 September (Rotterdam), Sunday 27 September (Rotterdam), Saturday 3 October (Amsterdam) | Tickets
Japanese title: ぼくらの7日間戦争 (Bokura no nanokakan sensou)
Graduation film of director Sae Suzuki. A young Taiwanese-Japanese woman and an older female office clerk find comfort and friendship in each other’s company even though they are ostracised by the people around them. This drama film will give you an exploration of multicultural identity, sexism and social pressure in Japanese society. The film My Identity will have its European premiere at CAMERA JAPAN.
Screenings:: Friday 25 September (Rotterdam), Saturday 26 September (Rotterdam), Sunday 27 September (Rotterdam) | Tickets
Japanese title: 神様のいるところ (Kamisama no iru tokoro)
Minori on the Brink
A film by director, producer and actor Ryutaro Ninomiya. Minori is tired of being judged solely on her looks. She’s annoyed by the superficiality of her peers and the conformism of older people. Minori regularly shows her dissatisfaction, but it only makes people take her even less seriously. This film will have its Dutch premiere at CAMERA JAPAN.
Screenings: Thursday 24 September (Rotterdam), Saturday 26 September (Rotterdam), Sunday 27 September (Rotterdam) | Tickets
Japanese title: お嬢ちゃん (O-jouchan)
Extra CAMERA JAPAN activities
As stated before, CAMERA JAPAN, will give space to extra activities such as workshops, exhibitions, performances and even the Mini Kids’ Day will return to the film festival. This year, an exhibition of Joris van Dorp Schuitman will share his photo collection of Japan in 2011 and 2015, travelling from Kyushu to Hokkaido. There will be a tea tasting event, where you can get introduced to matcha and sencha, but also an onigirazu (Japanese rice sandwich) workshop. Between movies, there will be a few performances, that CAMERA JAPAN has named interventions. This year, there will be a live calligraphy performance by Lanka and a duo concert by Utako Arakawa and Ayumi Matsuda of theatrical group Japone. These performances are only planned to take place in Rotterdam. There is, of course, a lot more to do, so please check the programme on the CAMERA JAPAN website for more information.
CAMERA JAPAN will take place from 24 to 27 September at LantarenVenster in Rotterdam with the usual kick-off at WORM on 23 September. Then the festival will move to Amsterdam for a long weekend from 1 to 4 October.