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Closing Night: The Shiranui Sea 不知火海

The Shiranui Sea || Shiranui kai || 不知火海
Tsuchimoto Noriaki | 1975 | Japan | 153’ | 16mm | Japanese spoken, English subtitles

The Shiranui Sea is the culmination of several years of working with Minamata disease patients and Tsuchimoto’s masterpiece. After the first compensations had been paid, Tsuchimoto turned his camera to the sea and to the reality of people’s daily lives, continuing to draw attention to the disease that seriously affected them. The sea that carried the disease also provided the livelihood of these populations, who for generations had relied on traditional fishing for sustenance. The film establishes a comprehensive report about the Minamata situation throughout the years. There is a great sensibility in the way Tsuchimoto draws a portrait of these people, who tell about their experiences and expectations for the future as they live with the disease and carry on with their lives. The Shiranui Sea is a lyrical tribute to the people’s resilience and a film of healing that establishes the caring dimension of Tsuchimoto’s cinema: a time-honed and collaborative way of filmmaking, deeply sensitive and alert.

With an introduction by Ricardo Matos Cabo