JAPAN / 2011 / Japanese / Color, B&W / Blu-ray (SD) / 40 min
Director, Script, Photography, Editing: Okuma Katsuya
Assistant Directors: Yamamoto Kazuo, Tomoyose Ryuhei
Sound: Tomoyose Ryuhei
Appearances: Ganaha Yosuke, Kamekawa Tsutomu, Ota Kazuto, Sakiyama Riki, Sakurai Shino
Source: Okuma Katsuya
One day young Yosuke, whose grandfather has recently passed away, meets Kame, a middle-aged man, at a cemetery. Yosuke believes a small lie Kame tells him. The pair are watched over attentively by an Amerasian man. The redevelopment of the Wakasa district in Naha city calls for the destruction of the cemetery, which has become a cultural heritage; through the filmmaking process, an experiment in dismantling the fabrication of a story unfolds.
[Director’s Statement] The idea that gradually came to my mind was the question: what does it mean to “inherit”? In Okinawa, it is traditional to think highly of inheriting a totome (Okinawa-style Buddhist altar) or grave, and it has long been considered a good thing in the culture. I too understand it that way. However, at the same time, I believe it is also true that it has created a pressure from which people have suffered. “Inheritance” can become an act of exclusion. I decided to write this story with this question in my mind: is there such a thing as “open inheritance,” which is different from convention, and not necessarily bound by family ties?
Coincidentally, I noticed that the road near my house was being widened. Apparently it was part of a sightseeing route toward Kokusai Street, in conjunction with the construction of a large-scale ferry port and a tunnel. Part of the park where my friend “Kame-chan” is living is going to be demolished for this road expansion, and I also heard that my grandmother’s family grave might be demolished to construct a new park there. The grave stands quietly in the back of Kokusai Street, and it possesses an unworldly atmosphere.
A town in a transitional period, “Kame-chan,” and “Yosuke,” who will perhaps inherit this town. Against these three protagonists, I have freely thrown my own feelings. Gift is a fictional story that came out of my own desires and the fabrications of my three accomplices. Strictly speaking, it must certainly be a fictional story.
Born in Naha, Okinawa, in 1984, Okuma Katsuya has directed two independent works so far. He was also assistant director on the Okinawan sequence of Yamamoto Masashi’s Three Points and is involved in a magazine called las barcas, founded by young artists and critics in Okinawa. Gift was produced for and screened at “Okinawa Art Action,” organized by an NPO Society in support of Okinawa Prefectural Art Museum in March 2011.