Ten years in the making, the epic Sennan Asbestos Disaster builds on Kazuo Hara and Sachiko Kobayashi’s “action documentary” method of filmmaking and expands their focus from one or two iconoclastic individuals to an entire community. Joining citizens of Sennan, Osaka who seek legal reparations from the government for exposing their working class community to asbestos factories’ deadly toxins. A powerful ensemble piece that gains strength from the warmth of everyday people standing up to the state for their rights, this radical film analyzes collective action and its limits, locating poisonous threats in self-regulating social mores as much as environmental pollution. A return to documentary for Hara and Kobayashi twenty-three years after the release of A Dedicated Life.
Streaming in the U.S. from June 4-July 2 as part of Cinema as Struggle: The Films of Kazuo Hara & Sachiko Kobayashi