27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Official Film of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Side A
director: Naomi Kawase
original title: 東京2020オリンピック SIDE：A
running time: 119 min.
synopsisThe 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were held a year late due to the global coronavirus crisis. Director Naomi Kawase continues the tradition of feature-length documentaries shot on the occasion of the Olympics, following the events on and off the sports venues for several months. She sticks to her sensitive and intimate way of storytelling, revealing behind-the-scenes shots from the lives of individual athletes and their families. The footage of fascinating sporting performances is thus interspersed with the testimonies of the competitors, highlighting the fine line between the personal and the political, sport and societal issues.
“Rather than the promotional piece for the Olympics you might expect, Side A’s preoccupation with the fleetingness of time raises several questions about the Olympics. How much is the momentary beauty worth when the event costs billions?”
Source: Seventh Row
biographyNaomi Kawase (1969) is one of Japan's most acclaimed directors. She hails from the rural Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region, which greatly influenced her early autobiographical shorts. She originally studied television production at Osaka University, where she subsequently lectured for four years. Kawase became the youngest winner of the Caméra d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for her 35mm film Moe no Suzaku. She adapted this and her later film Hotaru (Firefly, 2000) into fiction. In 2007, she won the main prize at the Cannes Film Festival for Mogari no mori (The Mourning Forest), a film dealing with themes of death and grief. She often works with non-actors and explores the boundaries between fiction and reality and the world of documentary and feature film.
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|producer:||Takebe Yumiko, Kobayashi Sumihiko|