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Directed by Kazuo Hara

Japan 2017 215 mins. In Japanese with subtitles

Pathbreaking documentarian Hara continues his examination of unjust situations with this 2017 film about the legal proceedings and protests stemming from gross government malfeasance—a typically incisive through-line of his previous work, which includes the landmark 1986 film The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On. In Sennan, Osaka prefecture, workers, over decades, manufactured asbestos as part of the country’s post-war economic boom, without being warned of the health risks that prolonged exposure could cause. In recent years, a lengthy lawsuit has been waged on behalf of those who have been debilitated or died as a result, but in the ultimate bureaucratic nightmare, the state has gone to great lengths to shield themselves (or their predecessors) from culpability. Hara’s piercing film follows, in detail, these proceedings, showing solidarity with the citizens of Sennan and holding a mirror to the government forces so bent on economic and hegemonic success at all costs—a key feature of Hara’s work until now, the master showing no signs of letting those in power off the hook.

Genres: Documentary

Appears in: Japanese Currents