文/想田和弘

2009年夏天,DMZ國際紀錄片影展在與北韓交界的南韓城市坡州市舉行。主辦單位邀請我拍攝一支二十分鐘與和平、共存有關的紀錄短片,但老實說,我一開始對這個主意並不是太熱衷。

其中一個原因是我深信我絕對不能在拍攝紀錄片之前便預設主題,否則會產生危險:主題變得比現實更重要,而且會主導我的拍攝過程。我會拍攝適合主題的材料,而非從我看到的事物中學習。我相信應該只有在長時間透過拍攝和剪接觀察世界後,才能發現主題。

當時我也猶豫要不要處理和平與共存這類龐大的主題。這類主題聽起來太過政治正確,而且幾乎可以當作是陳腔濫調。我對自己說:「毫無疑問,每個人都想要和平與共存。我何必要拍攝主題這麼明確的電影?」

我當時準備要婉拒這項邀約了。

然而,同年秋天,我突然改變心意。我隨意拍攝我的岳父Toshio Kashiwagi在日本岡山縣家裡附近餵流浪貓的情景,此時,我想到關於電影的點子了。他餵養一群流浪貓形成的和平社群,但一隻公的外來貓「貓小偷」嘗試要入侵牠們的領土,這讓情況轉而岌岌可危。這讓我想起我們人類有的問題,我也因而深信我可以拍攝短片,討論貓之間共存的議題。

但拍攝我岳父與他的貓之間的關係時,我也越來越對他的工作產生興趣—他是從事福利服務的計程車司機。同時我也對他與客戶來往的方式產生興趣。透過他,我進一步認識了Shiro Hashimoto這名九十一歲的老先生。他正在思索本身的死亡問題,而這也讓我好奇我岳母Hiroko Kashiwagi的工作。她的工作就是照顧Hashimoto。越拍攝這些吸引我的片段,我越發現二十分鐘的短片勢必要變成一部長片。

我拍攝這部片的時候一直提醒自己一件事:和平與共存的主題應該只是一個起點。最重要的是探索這趟電影的旅程,而不是受限於我開始的地方。

因此,我決定拍攝所有我感興趣的事物,即使這些事物表面上看起來和這主題毫不相關。Hashimoto的片段就是很典型的例子。事實上,要是我只關心這個主題,我就完全不會拍到任何和他有關的場景。

就像我其他的觀察記錄片一樣,我嚴禁自己在拍攝之前進行任何研究或會談,以避免先入為主的概念。在剪接過程中,我先將主題擱置,集合讓我感興趣的片段,藉此發現事物。我就這樣練習我慣用的電影拍攝觀察手法。

然而,要說我沒有受到我設法忘記的主題影響也並不正確。事實上,在整個拍攝過程中,我發現自己一直思考這些問題:和平是什麼?共存是什麼?這兩樣東西要如何實現,又會怎樣被摧毀?我相信完成的電影作品也會對觀眾問一樣的問題。這部電影也探索了日本戰後的年代和日本的未來,而這都要感謝Hashimoto意外告訴我們的戰爭故事以及他最喜歡的香菸品牌「和平」。「和平」是一個長銷的香菸品牌,日本在二次世界大戰戰敗後這個牌子馬上於1946年1月推出。



DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

by Kazuhiro Soda

In the summer of 2009, the DMZ Korean International Documentary Festival in the border city of Paju, South Korea, asked me to make a 20 minute-short documentary about peace and coexistence. But honestly, I wasn’t so keen on the idea at first.

One reason is that I firmly believed I should never set up a theme before I make a documentary. Otherwise, there is a danger that the theme becomes more important than the reality itself, and would dictate my filmmaking process. I would shoot materials that might fit to the theme rather than learn from what I see. I believed that the theme should be discovered only after the long process of observation of the world through shooting and editing.

I was also hesitant to deal with such a big theme as peace and coexistence, which sounds too politically correct and can be perceived as almost cliché. I was saying to myself, “There’s no question that everybody wants peace and coexistence. Why should I make a movie about such an obvious theme?”

I was about to decline the offer.

However, in the fall of the same year, I suddenly changed my mind. While I was casually videotaping Toshio Kashiwagi, my father-in-law, feeding some stray cats in his neighborhood in Okayama, Japan, I got an idea for the movie. He was feeding a peaceful community of stray cats, but the situation became shaky because a male “thief cat” from outside was trying to invade their territory. It reminded me of the problems we human beings have, and I was convinced that I could make a short documentary about the issues of coexistence among cats.

But, while shooting the relationship between my father-in-law and his cats, I also became interested in his work as a welfare taxi driver, and the way he deals with his clients. Through him, I further got acquainted with Shiro Hashimoto, a 91-year-old gentleman who was contemplating his own death. This made me curious about the work of Hiroko Kashiwagi, my mother-in-law, who was taking care of Hashimoto. While shooting all these scenes that attracted me, it became apparent that a 20-minute short documentary was turning into a feature.

While I was shooting this film, there was one thing I constantly reminded myself; the theme of peace and coexistence should only serve as a starting point. What is most important is to explore the cinematic journey without being bound to where I began.

So, I decided to shoot whatever interested me, even if it seemed to have no relation to the theme. The scenes of Hashimoto are the typical examples. In fact, if I were only concerned with the theme, I wouldn’t have shot any of them.

Just like in my other observational documentaries, I prohibited myself from doing any research or meeting prior to shooting to avoid having preconceptions. During the editing, I put aside the theme, and tried to make discoveries by accumulating scenes that interested me. In this sense, I practiced my usual observational method of filmmaking.

However, it’s wrong to say that I was not influenced from the theme I tried to forget. In fact, throughout the filmmaking process, I found myself constantly thinking about these questions: What is peace? What is coexistence? How can they be realized, and how can they be destroyed? And I believe that the finished film asks the same questions to the audience, too. The film also explores the meaning of Japan’s post-war era and its future, thanks to Hashimoto’s unexpected war stories and his favorite cigarette brand “Peace,” a long-selling tobacco that came out in January 1946 right after Japan’s defeat in WWII.




http://www.laboratoryx.us/peace/directors_statement.html

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