Japanese Panorama

A Patch of Blue Sky

(“Chotto aozora”)
- JAPAN / 2001 / Japanese / Color / 16mm / 31 min

Director, Photography, Narrator: Kobayashi Shigeru
Editing: Kasuya Fumio
Sound, Music: Yoshida Shigekazu
Production Companies: A Patch of Blue Sky Production Committee, Kobayashi Shigeru Production
Source: A Patch of Blue Sky Production Committee
7-2-14, 12-Jo, Misono, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo Hokkaido 062-0012 JAPAN
Phone & Fax: 81-11-813-2677

After leaving a public nursing home, Sato Masahiro lives alone in Sapporo but has such serious impairments that he requires 24-hour assistance. For that purpose, 40 social workers and volunteers come each week. The camera follows Masahiro’s life and depicts the people surrounding him. A joyful, fun and touching documentary.

[Director’s Statement] “Impaired” and “normal”—the meaning of these terms is based on a certain value system. When human relationships change, values change. That’s what makes things interesting. In Japanese society, with its strong feeling of being blocked in, or immobile, I especially want to look upwards and see a patch of the blue sky.


- Kobayashi Shigeru

Born in 1954 in Niigata Prefecture. Graduate of Doshisha University. Worked as assistant director to Yanagisawa Hisao. Awarded the 1st JSC Award for his cinematography in Sato Makoto’s Living on the River Agano. Director of Children in the Cosmos (2001), a threepart film whose first and second parts, After School (1998) and Bicycles (1999), screened in the New Asian Currents Program at YIDFF ’99. Has published many collections of photographs.

• Japanese Panorama | My Wife’s Features | Then, She Closes Another Eye | An Error with Wings | Tei-chan’s Roots | 35.4 °C | Nippon Suicide Pact | Dialogue 1999 | Takashi and His Friends | A Patch of Blue Sky