|PROGRAM 3 AN OCEANIC FEELING|
Direction: Noriaki Tsuchimoto
In 1965, with the production of the television documentary "The Children of Minamata Are Living", Noriaki Tsuchimoto initiated what would become a sustained practice of chronicling the socio-political, environmental, legal, and medical dimensions of mercury poisoning in and around Minamata Bay. Across some seventeen films, Tsuchimoto charted how methylmercury in the wastewater of a chemical factory owned by the Chisso Corporation decimated marine life and caused severe neurological problems and fatalities in those who ate the contaminated seafood. Made after the urgent confrontation of "Minamata: The Victims and their World "(1971), and after Chisso was found guilty of corporate negligence in 1973, the more poetic "The Shiranui Sea" explores how daily life went on in the area and reflects on how the actions of Chisso, the state, and the medical establishment shaped the existence of those affected in ways large and small. Tsuchimoto does not shy away from the depiction of suffering and continues to insist on accountability, while manifesting a tremendous capacity for listening and a compassion that never tips into sentimentality. Human and non-human life are shown to be mutually interdependent, with both emerging as vulnerable to harm and resilient enough to find a way through it.