Kore-eda Hirokazu

Stefan Nutz nuzumaki
Wed May 31 10:46:28 EDT 2006

Hi Claudia,

The Viennale had a Kore-eda Special in the year 2004.
You can find further information here:


However looks at the question of welfare after Yamanouchi Yoyomori, a 
bureaucrat, in charge of compensation for the victims of the Minamata 
Disease, commits suicide. A stark report on the suffering and anger of 
welfare recipients and the attitude of the administration towards public 
assistance in an age of cutting off welfare to the weak. At first there was 
no connection between Minamata disease and social welfare or public 
assistance. But when Yamanouchis career was recounted in the newspaper I 
realized that he was division chief of the Social Welfare Bureau of the 
Ministry of Health and Welfare, the most important bureaucratic position in 
the administration of public assistance. I found that he had dedicated 
himself to the cause of social welfare quite beyond his role as a 
bureaucrat, so I decided to make him a subject of the documentary and 
revised my research accordingly. (Koreeda Hirokazu)

Lessons from a Calf documents the studies of pupils of the Ina elemantary 
school in the Prefecture of Nagano as they raise a dairy cow named Lola: 
calculating the cost of the feed, cleaning the barn, the birth and death of 
Lolas calf, and parting with Lola. The camera follows the children and their 
cow-based curriculum, capturing their lively expressions and the changes 
which occur in them. After a year of working, I was in danger of losing 
sight of what I myself wanted to shoot. I wanted to reinforce it again. So I 
wrote lots of proposals and scripts, groping for what fit me. As part of the 
same process, I thought, Why not just start filming something?, and then 
when I thought, What shall I shoot? that television program came to 
mind.That elementary school had actually been in the news several times. 
When I was at university there was a feature on TV Asahis News Station 
program about the Harugumi class when they were in the first year. The faces 
of the children from that program leapt to mind and I thought Id like to try 
filming them. (Koreeda Hirokazu)

Severe vitamine deficiency can cause Wernickes Encephalopathy (WE), a brain 
disorder which results in loss of short-term memory. Sekine Hiroshi was 
hospitalized in 1992 for a stomach operation: for five weeks he was fed on a 
glucose drip which starved his body of vitamins. He emerged with WE, and has 
been struggling to cope with it ever since. So has his wife Miwa and sons Yu 
and Taku. It took three years to persuade the authorities that Hiroshi 
needed (and deserved) a disability pension and even longer for the 
government to admit in public that economies in the health service have cost 
at least 41 lives and grievously damaged others. Koreedas documentary, made 
with Hiroshi and his family over the years 1994 to 1996, is in part an angry 
protest against medical malpractice and bureaucratic inertia. More 
strikingly, it offers a vision stronger than anything William Gibson has 
dreamed up of what it might mean to wake up every morning wondering who your 
wife and children are. No-one who sees it will ever take memory for granted 
again. (Tony Rayns)



----- Original Message ----- 
From: <cla.kaidan at virgilio.it>
To: <KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 4:31 PM
Subject: Kore-eda Hirokazu

> I'm writing a thesis about Kore-eda Hirokazu.
> I'd be grateful if
> someone could help me in finding his first video works ("However",
> "Lessons from a calf", "Without memory"...) or any information about
> his documentary work.
> I'm also looking for infos about his new film
> "Hana yori mo naho".
> Thanks in advance
> Claudia

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