YAMA, Attack to Attack! (1986)

13 Jun

110m; Japan

Director: Sato Mitsuo / Yamaoka Kyoichi

Synopsis: In Tokyo the area stretching from Taito Ward to Arakawa Ward was formerly called Sanya. (Locals refer to this area as “Yama”.) Today, Sanya is a place where day laborers come together to live and find work. These laborers usually do what their employers tell them, and are often targets for exploitation by yakuza gangsters and right-wing groups. But the workers decided to form a labor union and begin to fight for improved working conditions, and it was this that director Sato Mitsuo tried to capture with his camera. However, the strike became a violent clash between workers and gangsters, and on the eleventh day of filming Sato was stabbed to death by a member of the yakuza. After the funeral was over, and the confusion of not having a director had passed, the task of completing the film passed on to Yamaoka Kyoichi (a key player in the labor disputes), and the production and exhibition committee. This film takes us around the country to several gathering places in Kotobuki-cho, Kamagasaki, Sasajima, and Fukuoka, showing us the struggle for the cause of day laborers who are dying in poverty. We are also taken to the mining community of Chikuho, which is where many of the laborers come from. Returning to Sanya, we see once more the continuing struggle taking place there, tied together with the symbolic image of the rising sun. Unfortunately, after filming was completed, and just prior to the premiere screening, the second director Yamaoka Kyoichi was shot to death. Both directors of this film were murdered.

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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Documentary, Migrant workers


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