Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 22 - 29  > 2 film directors & production firm protest cancellation of 'comfort women' documentary showing at film festival
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2019 October 22 - 29 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

2 film directors & production firm protest cancellation of 'comfort women' documentary showing at film festival

October 29, 2019
Two film directors and one production company on October 28 published a statement in protest against the cancellation of a screening of documentary film "Shusenjo" which deals with the issue of wartime Japanese military "comfort women" at a local film festival in Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture.

The production firm "Wakamatsu Production" as a protest also decided to withdraw its two films from the festival.

"Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of The Comfort Women Issue" directed by Miki Dezaki is a documentary compiling interviews with more than 30 people with varying perspectives. However, part of interviewees who are introduced as historical denialists in the film filed a lawsuit in June seeking a ban on the showing of the film.

The festival is hosted by the NPO "KAWASAKI Arts" and operated by citizen volunteers with the Kawasaki City government and the Kawasaki Board of Education who are co-organizers of the festival.

At first, the NPO was planning to screen "Shusenjo" even with the knowledge of the lawsuit. However, after Kawasaki City administration expressed concerns about possible violence, harassment, or intimidation at theaters, the NPO decided to call off the showing of "Shusenjo" because there are limits to what citizen volunteers can do in problem situations.

The protest statement points out that "Shusenjo" has been screened without any trouble since its release six months ago, and criticizes the cancellation of the film's showing as a restriction of the right to freedom of expression.

The statement points out that the decision to stop the screening of this film is treading in the controversial area of the shut-down of the "After the 'Freedom of Expression'?" exhibit in the Aichi Triennale 2019. The statement adds that allowing the cancellation of controversial works will lead to a self-imposed restrain or pre-censorship resulting in further restrictions on freedom of expression.

Past related articles:
> Cultural agency’s panel member resigns in protest against cancellation of subsidy to Aichi Triennale [October 4, 2019]
> Majority of Aichi Triennale artists call for reopening of ‘shuttered’ exhibition [August 7, 2019]
> Political pressure on exhibit of ‘statue of Korean girl’ in Aichi Triennale violates Constitution banning censorship: Koike [August 4&5, 2019]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved