Discover Japan: Tokyo Metropolis + Exchange Student Chua Swee-Lin
Discover Japan: Tokyo Metropolis日本発見 東京都
Tsuchimoto Noriaki |1962 | Japan | 29’| 16mm (video transfer) | Japanese spoken, English subtitles
Tokyo Metropolis is an early film by Tsuchimoto produced for television by the PR company Iwanami Productions. The series Discover Japan was an educational programme introducing the prefectures of the country from a social perspective, each filmed by a different director. The film focuses on the changing social fabric of Tokyo and the exodus of young people from rural areas to the metropolis. It is a portrait of Japan in the midst of industrialisation and rapid change.
Exchange Student Chua Swee-Lin 留学生チュア・スイ・リン,
Tsuchimoto Noriaki |1965 | Japan | 51’| 16mm (video transfer) | Japanese spoken, English subtitles
Exchange Student Chua Swee-Lin is considered as a precursor to independent documentary in Japan, and the first important film shot in the country about the burgeoning student movement. Chua Swee-Lin was a Malaysian exchange student who was being threatened with deportation over his protest against the separation and independence of Singapore. Tsuchimoto wished to make a plea for Chua Swee-Lin’s case and thereby avoid his deportation and imprisonment. Chua Swee-Lin starts as a portrait of the young student but soon becomes a more encompassing and complex documentary about the political situation in Japan and Asia. As the film gathers support for Chua Swee-Lin and raises awareness to his cause, we see how his struggle joins that of other social movements.