True to Myself(“Watashi” o ikiru)
JAPAN / 2010 / Japanese / Color / Blu-ray (SD) / 138 min
Director, Photography, Editing: Doi Toshikuni
Editing Support: Moriuchi Yasuhiro (Rakuda Studio)
Production Company: “True to Myself” Production Committee
Source: Doi Toshikuni
Teachers’ freedom of speech has been swiftly suppressed in Tokyo schools, as the Japanese national flag and anthem are made compulsory at entrance and graduation ceremonies. Three teachers fight back against the oppressive flow: Nezu Kimiko, Sato Miwako, and Dohi Nobuo. As they battle alone to protect freedom and democracy in their schools, they face fierce opposition that is so nonsensical that it is damaging to their health. Transcending debates over education, theirs becomes a story of people who follow a path toward defending their individual identity.
[Director’s Statement] This is not a film that addresses problems of education or that enters the debates about the Japanese national flag and anthem. Rather, it is a record of the “way of life” of three teachers who proudly fight to stand up against the massive leaning to the right of Japanese society, maintain their identity, and continue to be true to themselves.
Born in Saga Prefecture, Japan, 1953. Journalist. In April 2009, he completed all four parts of the documentary film Unheard Voices: Palestinians, Israelis, and the Occupation. The fourth part, Breaking the Silence, won first place in the Cultural Film category of Kinema Jumpo’s Best Ten of 2009. He is currently working on a five-part film, Living in Gaza.