Barbara Hammer

2000, 82:00 minutes, colour/B&W, English


Devotion, a story about Ogawa Productions, is a documentary of an important Japanese post-war documentary collective that made significant films of social struggle and village life. This investigative documentary situates the revolutionary lifestyle and films of Ogawa Productions within the framework of the global movement of the New Left in the mid 60s and the emerging documentary movement in Japan. In depth stories from the collective members who contributed to this unique film making process are examined from a variety of perspectives and understandings. Nagisa OSHIMA, Kazoo HARA and Sumiko HANEDA, well-known film directors, present their personal recollections of this unique group. Memory, history, national culture, gender, and identity all figure in the stories as the evolution, development, and finally disintegration, of this seminal film collective world.
"Devotion is the most difficult film I have ever undertaken. From inception to completion, it was two years of investigation of a distinguished and important film collective whose members were dispersed since the death of their leader, Ogawa Shinsuke, nine years ago.
I believe that history affords multiple telling; that each person will tell a different story of the same experience, that we filmmakers and audience viewers must also hold all the varied meaning simultaneously. It isn't difficult once you begin this practice.

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