Sanrizuka: Heta buraku (Narita: Heta Village), 1973, Ogawa Shinsuke © The Film School of Tokyo

Sanrizuka: Heta buraku (Narita: Heta Village) (1973)

Regie: Ogawa Shinsuke. 146 min
 
Ogawa hat von 1967 bis 1974 in Narita gelebt und mit Filmstudent/innen und den Bauern und Bäuerinnen von Sanrizuka gegen ihre Enteignung und Umsiedelung gekämpft – ihre Häuser und Felder sollten dem Flughafen Narita weichen. Direct Cinema und kollektive Filmproduktion sind wesentliche Aspekte der Geschichte des 16mm-Formats. So ist die Bedeutung der "Sanrizuka"-Serie – insgesamt fünf Filme aus dieser Zeit – als mitreißendes Manifest des politischen Aktivismus nicht zu unterschätzen. Aus der Zusammenarbeit zwischen Filmer/innen und Landbevölkerung erwuchs zudem die Idee eines neuen Festivals für politisch engagierten Dokumentarfilm, das Yamagata Film Festival. (K. W.)


This rarely seen two-and-a-half-hour documentary by Japanese master Ogawa Shinsuke (1935-1992) is part of his seven-film series in which he documented the fight of students and local peasants against the construction of the monstrous Narita airport, against the expropriation of their farmland and their resettlement and the violent clashes between protesters and the police in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Ogawa was a political filmmaker in the true sense of the word and throughout his career which ended due to his untimely death at the age of 57, there was no doubt about where his sympathies lay and which side he was on. Heta Village can be considered the highlight of his Sanrizuka series. It features long and detailled monologues by the farmers describing their lives and their work directly to the camera, only every now and then do we hear a question from off-camera. Given the events that followed, with the airport, of course, being built, the film and the whole series have become sort of a historical document in their own way. It also shows that the societal upheaval and unrest that shook the world at the time were particularly uncompromising and violent in Japan. (Andreas Ungerböck)   

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