Friday, July 17, 2015

Wages of Resistence: Narita Stories (2014) Japan Cuts

In 1969 the Japanese suddenly decided to build Narita Airport  in the Sanrizuka area outside Japan. The decision caught everyone out of left field. The farmers who would have to supply the land were pissed and resisted. Students and activists flooded into the area and helped out.  Eventually a runway was built. Decades later (2002) a second runway was constructed- however the fight continues to this day.

Mix of interviews and archival footage tells the story of the struggle of the lowly farmers against the powerful government. Its a cautionary tale of what can happen when a government thinks itself above the law.

Interesting but over long story of a 45 year long struggle held my interest for about an hour or so, but somewhere along the way I started to check my watch and ponder if there wasn't a speedier way of telling this story. This is an intellectual film and probably the artiest of all of Japan Cuts and its a film one can admire more than love.

This is one of those times where I have to applaud the Japan Society for bringing this small independent film to the US, but at the same time I have to ponder who they thought this film was for.

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