"HOLY ISLAND"

 

The sun rises in a planned site for a nuclear power station.

Another day of the island begins.

 


About the movie

  There is a small island where agriculture was brought 1000 years ago as the residents rescued people from a wrecked ship. The island became prosperous and the culture of the island has been handed down from generation to generation.

 

  Iwaishima Island, Kaminoseki city, Yamaguchi Prefecutre:

  In this island in Seto Inland Sea with about 500 people, the residents have been living by helping each other and sharing things among them as it was necessary for them to live in the harsh natural environment. Drinkable water is limited in this rocky island, which is often attacked by typhoons. The people, however, have lived by acquiring fish and other resources from the sea and by cultivating rocky mountains to create rice fields. You can see clearly in this island that human activities are part of nature’s cycles.

 

  In 1982, a project of constructing a nuclear power plant in Tanoura, on the opposite shore about 3.5 kilometers from Iwaishima Island, was surfaced. The people here have been opposing to the project, saying “We can live as long as we have mountains and the sea. We cannot sell the sea during our generation.” People in Iwaishima live by taking into account of the future generations. A nuclear power station is built in a society that pursues efficiency and profits in the present life. This difference in values and a conflict between them are seen in everywhere in Japan. Considering the life in 1000 years is a succession of our current life, it seems clear what we should choose. This film depicts the islanders’ life that is handed down to the future generations.

 

 

How it started

  This is HANABUSA Aya's first film. She visited the island for the first time in 2003 to attend an event of showing a film, "Alexei and the Spring," which was made and distributed by a company where she was working for. At that time, she wondered why people in Iwaishima can live cheerfully while fighting against the construction of a nuclear power plant for so many years. Wishing to find an answer, Hanabusa collected about 5 million yen and began shooting a film in 2008 with a cinematographer Okubo Chizuna from KBC imaging company of the life of the people in Iwaishima that they wish to keep. They stayed at a rented house and shot the film by living closely with the residents.

 

  Producer is MOTOHASHI Seiichi. He has directed two films: "Nadya's Village" and "Alexei and the Spring" both of which depict the life of people who keep living in the disaster-stricken villages due to a Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. Editor is SHINOMIYA Tetsuo and sound director is KIKUCHI Nobuyuki. Both of them and other staffers have a long career in the film industry.

 

 

Staff

Director: HANABUSA Aya

  Born in Tokyo in 1974, she graduated from Jiyugakuen University in 1994. She worked for MOTOHASHI Seiichi, a photographer and a documentary film director, in producing and distributing films. After working as a producer of a film, “Namii to Utaeba (Singing with Nami)” in 2006, she directed this film for the first time.

Hanabusa’s blog: http://holynoshima.blog60.fc2.com

 

Producer: MOTOHASHI Seiichi

  Born in Tokyo in 1940, he graduated from Jiyugakuen University in 1963. His book “Coal Mines” won the 5th Taiyousho prize for photography in 1968. Since then, he has been taking photographs of circus, Ueno station, Tsukiji fish market, public entertainment, among others. He started visiting a Chernobyl nuclear accident site and radiation-inflicted Beralus in 1991. His collection of photos “Infinite Embrace” won the annual award for photography from the Japanese Organization of Photography in 1995. His exhibition of photos entitled “Nadya's Village” was awarded the 17th Domon Ken Award for photography in 1998. The documentary film bearing the same title, "Nadya's Village" and the next one, "Alexei and the Spring" won many awards in and outside of Japan, including the Readers' Prize of the Berliner Zeitung and the International Cine Club Prize at Berlin International Film Festival.

 

Cinematographer: OKUBO Chizuna (KBC Eizo imaging company)

Editor: SHINOMIYA Tetsuo

Sound manager: KIKUCHI Nobuyuki

Narrator: SAITO Tomoko

Production desk: NAKAUE Kisara

Production manager: OHTSUKI Takahiro

Cooperation: people in Iwaishima, KBC Eizo imaging company

Production company: Polepole Times Co., Ltd.

Public Relations: Brownie, Co., Ltd.

Distributer: Sosna Film

 

2010/JAPAN/105 minutes