Q&A chat session on Mar 23, 2021

Songs Still Sung: Voices from the Tsunami Shores 『東北おんばのうた − つなみの浜辺で』
Directed by Suzuki Yoi. Produced by Arai Takako.
2020. Japan. 80 minutes. 
Country/region featured: Japan

Q&A chat session with Suzuki Yoi, Arai Takano, and Kendall Heitzman (translator)
Tue, 03/23/2021 - 10:00a EST 

After the Tohoku Triple Disaster of 2011, the poet Arai Takako led a series of translation workshops with tsunami survivors in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, using short poems by the early 20th-century poet Ishikawa Takuboku. Takuboku was from Iwate, too, but he wrote his poems in a literary standard Japanese. Workshop participants translated his poems into their regional dialect, called “Kesengo.” A collection of 100 Takuboku poems with their translations was published in 2017. 

In this documentary film, a companion to the book, Arai interviews five women from Ofunato, ages 79 to 100, who have survived as many as three tsunami in the past century! They talk about their childhood memories, their fortitude in the face of war and natural disaster, and the extraordinary depth of spoken Kesengo. Director Suzuki Yoi’s rich poetic sensibility offers a vision of humanity in all its complexity, as the film weaves together their Takuboku translations, poetry by the women themselves, and local songs. Their stories and their language will become a part of everyone who listens to their voices. 

Distributed by Arai Takako.



The Last Man 
Directed by Dakxinkumar Chhara. Produced by Shatterproof Productions. 
2020. United Kingdom. 61 minutes. 
Country/region featured: India 

Q&A chat session with director Dakxinkumar Chhara, and producers Dr. Manisha Maganji and Naveen Judah.
Tue, 03/23/2021 - 10:30a EST 

The last man is a documentary filmed on human condition of manual scavengers and the role of caste system in Indian societies defining the destiny of many poor and low class communities within the subcontinent.Manual scavenging is a term used in India for the manual removal of untreated human excreta from sewers, bucket toilets or pit latrines by hand with buckets and shovels. In complete Violation of basic human rights and dignity. Incredibly they belong to one specific community now known as the Valmikis who have been engaged in this occupation for hundreds of years. India has succeeded in sending its mission to the Mars with technological and engineering advancements, but India’s caste-based social system has failed to stop sending human beings into the pit full of muck, poisonous gases and infectious diseases. ‘The Last Man’ aims to show the ground reality through everyday life of manual scavengers engaged in different types of manual scavenging, endangering and losing their lives in cleaning the choked sewers, and manholes. 

Distributed by Shatterproof Productions.