Noriaki Tsuchimoto

Noriaki Tsuchimoto (1928-2008) was a Japanese filmmaker and writer. Alongside other documentary filmmakers of his generation, he started out by making PR and educational films, working for Iwanami Productions. Films from this period include Aru kikanjoshi [An Engineer’s Assistant] (1964) and Document rojo [On the Road: A Document] (1964), a critical portrait of modern Japan. Tsuchimoto’s contemporaries were Shinsuke Ogawa and Ogawa Productions, another great force in Japanese post-war documentary, who were committed to filming the conflicts in the fields of Sanrizuka while Tsuchimoto was filming the seaside communities and exposing the terrible consequences of industrial pollution. In the 1960s, he sided with the burgeoning student movement in Japan, directing a film about a Malaysian exchange student threatened with deportation, Ryugakusei Chua Sui Rin [Exchange Student Chua Swee-Lin] (1965). This film became a landmark in independent documentary filmmaking in Japan, creating a wave of dissent throughout Japan. Tsuchimoto was an Artist in Focus at the Courtisane Festival in 2019. 

Noriaki Tsuchimoto, 1972

This experience does not come from the world of literature, it does not belong to the world of imagination, it is the very world of victims, looking into the movie camera, and in cold blood we commit the atrocity of reproducing in film what we should not even be allowed to see.