DIRECTORS' STATEMENTS : The Wages of Resistance:NaritaStories

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After forty-five years, I revisited the Sanrizuka airport land. What did I see there and what prompted me to film?

In the beginning was the Word. Everything was brought out into broad daylight to be scrutinized and dissected by words and reason; to be verbalized and hung out to dry. But the world of images is a world of shadows swaying endlessly. The minute you think you caught it; it slips through your fingers. The mesh of verbalization is too big to capture this world of images in its net. It flees away.
This film recounts the forty-six year struggle of the Sanrizuka farmers opposing the new airport and the government’s authoritative oppression through the sober eyes of present day farmers. The airport has been built, however imperfectly, and the farmers’ defeat is an inevitable conclusion. However, the farmers are still farming on the land while casting side glances at the planes. They continue to live there. No doubt their everyday lives and their minds are swaying conflicting courses. We quietly placed our camera at their side and captured their voices through a serenity of images.
̶Otsu Koshiro, director / cinematographer


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Today, we indulge in the “joys of life,” dislike the “sorrows of life,” and try to pretend sorrow does not exist.

The opening text in The Wages of Resistance states: “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds (John 12:24).” Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov also cites this in its epigraph. The Russian novel and The Wages of Resistance may seem to have nothing in common, but they actually share a particular perspective. Both works depict the “sorrows of life,” while weaving within them stories that are life affirming.
The people of Sanrizuka, who once risked their lives to fight against the state, continued to live the “sorrows of life.” They did not cease to remind themselves what helpless imbeciles human beings are. In the meantime, contemporary Japan enjoys high economic standards and the ordinary Japanese citizen drowns in pursuit of the “joys of life.” That is exactly why the truth inherent in these stories tells us, “People can never truly live positively unless they acknowledge how forsaken they are.”
̶Daishima Haruhiko, director / editor

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