In his debut film, Kazuo Hara follows a group of mentally handicapped people, who are living more or less on the fringes of society. The interviews he has with them are very candid and at times even confrontational. A number of handicapped people directly call Hara to account on camera about his intentions and his responsibility as a filmmaker.The film particularly makes a deep impression because of the unvarnished representation of these people’s daily lives. One of them moves through the streets of his town on all fours, addressing people and distributing pamphlets that plead for better living and housing conditions. The black-and-white film, entirely shot from the shoulder, is a strong example of cinéma vérité and the fairly unusual interviews with the handicapped people are characterised by a high degree of authenticity and involvement of the filmmaker.
Sachiko Kobayashi for Shisso Productions
The Japan Foundation