Film Series at Anthology Film Archives: PROGRAM 4: BODIES IN MINAMATA
Part of Platform 2016: A Body in Places
This Wednesday night film series is co-presented by Danspace Project and Anthology Film Archives and curated by Eiko, who addresses “how humans contribute to and survive the characteristics of places.” Tickets are available at Anthology’s box office on the day of the show only. The box office opens 30 minutes before the first show of the day. There are no advance ticket sales.
PROGRAM 4: BODIES IN MINAMATA
MINAMATA: THE VICTIMS AND THEIR WORLD
1971, 120 min, 16mm. In Japanese with English subtitles. This screening is co-organized by The Japan Foundation.
I grew up in postwar, post-occupation Japan, an era of rapid economic growth accompanied by pollution and environmental hazards. It was clear that corporations did not care for much besides profit. Minamata is a city in southern Japan that gave its name to a fatal disease caused by the most notorious environmental hazard in Japan’s history. Fishermen, their families, and their pets were the first victims to suffer from methylmercury poisoning by eating fish harvested from the sea that, for 36 years, was contaminated by a fertilizer factory. The victims’ anger and their efforts to create normalcy within their abnormal situation deliver a deep sense of urgency. That urgency also manifested in other resistance movements, which affected the ways in which some of my own generation thought of the world and learned ways to live and fight. –Eiko
Eiko & Koma and James Byrne LAMENT 1985, 9 min, 16mm
We collaborated with James Byrne to create LAMENT in the mid-1980s when I saw many colleagues and friends become sick and die of AIDS. To live is to witness the suffering of others, and to see the wrongs of the society that creates this suffering. To acknowledge this suffering and to maintain mourning for it is to willfully refuse to forget. –Eiko