Sennan Asbestos Disaster + Q&A
Part of Kazuo Hara: In Focus
With a career spanning five decades, Kazuo Hara is widely recognised as one of Japan’s most important and influential documentary filmmakers and his notoriously confrontational method has transformed the art of documentary filmmaking. He has been awarded at festivals worldwide, and both The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On and Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974 appeared in the BFI’s poll of The 50 Greatest Documentaries of All Time.
Kazuo Hara’s longitudinal latest film follows a group of factory workers battling—over a long, gruelling court case—against the Japanese government for compensation for deadly respiratory diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. Filmed over eight years in the small town of Sennan, long a centre for asbestos related industry in Japan, Hara documents the plight of the workers in heartbreaking detail as, with failing health, they take on the seemingly impenetrable bureaucratic machine that stands in their way. With his typically unflinching gaze, Hara creates a moving, masterful portrait of a vulnerable and marginalised community and their dogged fight for justice.
+ Q&A with director Kazuo Hara. UK Premiere.