es | eu | en
Film Festival
of Navarra
Film Festival
of Navarra

home  |   2022 edition  |  official selection  |  programmes  |  minamata mandala
Minamata mandala

Country: Japan
Year: 2020
Duration: 372'
Projection format: DCP
Colour: Colour
Language: Japanese
Direction: Kazuo Hara
Cinematographer: Kazuo Hara, Noa Nagaoka
Editor: Takeshi Hata
Sound: Takeshi Ogawa
Music: T 80 Chochek, D.K. Heroes
Production: Koji Namikoshi, Sachiko Kobayashi, Kazuo Hara, Noa Nagaoka, Chihiro Shimano

Selected filmography: Minamata Mandala (2020), Reiwa Uprising (2019), Sennan Asbestos Disaster (2017), The Many Faces of Chika (2005), A Dedicated Life (1994), The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (1987), EXTREME PRIVATE EROS: LOVE SONG 1974 (1974), Goodbye CP (1972).

Shanghai International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, IFFR, Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Out of competence

Spanish premiere


Between 1938 and 1968, the Chisso Corporation’s chemical factory, located in Minamata Bay, on the west coast of Japan, discharged mercury-laden wastewater into the Shiranui Sea. As early as the 1940s, the residents of the fishing villages in this area, who depended on the sea for their livelihood, began to contract a disease with symptoms that included seizures, paralysis, and sensory impairment, leading sometimes to death. In the late 1950s, the Minamata disease was officially recognised as a neurological disorder caused by the consumption of methylmercury accumulated in the food chain. It took over a decade and numerous legal actions filed by the victims, supported by an important social activist movement, for the courts to indict Chisso for their negligence and responsibility in the poisoning. In the following decades victims have been entangled in endless litigation processes, discussions over the certification of the disease and their right to compensation. The social and political aspects of what happened in Minamata have been documented by, among others, Tsuchimoto Noriaki, who developed a remarkable work of advocacy for these communities, directing a long and committed series of films shot over a period of forty years. Director Hara Kazuo follows in the footsteps of Tsuchimoto, to whom this film is dedicated, by looking carefully at “how the neglectful attitude of the government and the politics affect the people in their hearts.” Shot and edited over a period of fifteen years, the film engages with a group of people fighting yet another court case against the local authorities and addresses the complex questions – personal, political, and scientific – that define this environmental issue. The long duration of the film is essential to sharing something vital about the experience and lives of these people and about the protracted nature of a problem that has afflicted these communities for so long and which concerns us all. Minamata Mandala is a profound and urgent reflection on the legacy of the Minamata struggles and an indictment of the authorities’ systemic failure to protect the people affected by the disease. Hara, known for his hard-hitting documentaries about the struggle of individuals opposing the establishment, draws a portrait of a collective struggle, praising “the fighting spirit of everyday people".

Ricardo Matos Cabo

Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes AudiovisualesAcción Cultural EspañolaPlan de Recuperación, Transformación y ResilienciaFinanciado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU
With the support of
Ayuntamiento de PamplonaCentro de Arte Contemporáneo de HuarteFundación Caja NavarraGoethe InstitutCanadá InternationalCasa ÁrabeCineteca MadridAsociación de Mujeres Cineastas y de Medios AudiovisualesInstitut FrançaisEmbajada de Portugal en MadridCamões - Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua Portugal
Member of
PantallaIberofestLa MestaThe Red Balloon
Filmoteca de Navarra
Museo Oteiza
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola
Festival de Cine Africano FCAT
Festival Scope
Centre Cinématographique Marocain
Hotel Tres Reyes
Hotel Maisonave
Cineteca Bologna
The Film Foundation
World Cinema Project
Cinemateca Portuguesa
Radio 3
Filmoteca Española
Festivals in Navarre
Punto de Vista
NIFF - Navarra International Film Festival
Navarra, tierra de cine
Ópera Prima
CTL 59
#LabMeCrazy! Science Film Festival
Festival de Cine y Dentistas
Horror Online Art
FICBE (Festival Internacional de Cortos de Berriozar)
FAN, Festival de Anime de Navarra
Lo que viene
Muestra de cine español
Filmmaking for social change
Muestra Internacional de Cine y Mujeres de Pamplona

We use our own and third-party cookies for the following purposes:

Necessary cookies help make a website page usable by enabling basic functions. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Preference cookies enable a website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

Analytics cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user.

To change the cookies settings that are installed on your computer, check or uncheck the different options and then click the "Save preferences" button
By clicking the "Accept all cookies" option, you consent to the installation of all cookies.
Likewise, by clicking the "Reject cookies" option, you reject the use of all of them.
Click HERE to obtain more information about our cookies policy.