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film - 14 08 2004 - 09:23 - katatonik

Yoshioka Itsuo, documentaries on Afghanistan and Iran

Yesterday, I was looking for the “Nagoya Cinematheque” near Chikusa station, to watch “senjō no natsuyasumi” (戦場の夏休み) , “Summer holidays on the battleground”, by the journalist Yoshioka Itsuo (吉岡逸夫). Here’s Yoshioka’s homepage (in Japanese). Last year, Yoshioka traveled to Iraq, with his 8 year old daughter. The film documents the trip.

I’d only heard about the film about an hour before the last show began, on TV. In an interview, Yoshioka said that traveling with a child was a real eye-opener, for people could immediately relate to him through his daughter. Some criticise the film because he exposed the girl to great danger, but Yoshioka answered – if I understood correctly – by returning the moral burden: do not journalists show us, in sensationalist fashion, the most hideous war scenes all the time, while he only aimed to show daily life of people caught up in a war that’s not their fault?

I couldn’t find the cinema in time, and hence missed the film. It’s already out on DVD, though.

In 2001, Yoshioka directed “Afugan no senjō” (アフガンの戦場), “Battleground Afghanistan”, based on the same idea: to document daily life in a country at war. He also published a photograph book on people in Ethiopia, as well as books on Ruanda, Cambodia, Islam, ...

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