Tale of a Butcher Shop

(Aru seinikuten no hanashi)

- JAPAN / 2013 / Japanese / Color / Blu-ray / 108 min

Director: Hanabusa Aya
Photography: Okubo Chizuna
Editing: Ukai Kunihiko
Sound: Masuda Takehiko
Producer: Motohashi Seiichi
Production Companies, World Sales: YASHIHO FILMS, Polepoletimes Co,. Ltd.

In Kaizuka City, Osaka, the family-run Kitade butcher shop makes its living by raising and slaughtering cattle, selling the meat. From the moment of tension when the hammer drops on the forehead of the cow, cattle are transformed into meat through practiced movements. This labor, traditionally the work of the Burakumin, the outcastes of feudal Japan, is passed down to the next generation by parents, who hope their children will not encounter discrimination as they have. People live by eating the lives of others. This is a record of a family who looks into the nature of life, every single day.

-[Director’s Statement] I cannot forget the shock I experienced when I first saw the work done in slaughterhouses. I encountered a world completely different than my imagination. What I had thought to be a dark, cold, and frightening place was replaced by an image of a warm space full of energy, where the workers engaged with life with every fiber in their body. I was fortunate to meet a family that was earnest and steadfast in its relationship with butchering.

- Hanabusa Aya

Born in 1974. Graduate of Jiyu Gakuen. Joined Pole Pole Times Co, Ltd. in 2001. She worked on projects such as Alexei and the Spring (2001) before becoming a freelance filmmaker. In 2010, she made her directorial debut with Holy Island, examining the lives of people of Iwai Island, who continue to protest against the construction of the Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant. Holy Island was honored with the award for Best Documentary at the Sicily Environmental Film Festival.