- BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, JAPAN / 2015 / Bosnian / Color / Blu-ray / 68 min

Director, Photography, Editing: Oda Kaori
Sound: Fradelic Suncica, Gulczynski Grant
Interpreter: Fradelic Suncica
Mentor: Tarr Béla
Source: film.factory www.filmfactory.ba

In a Bosnian coalmine the miners labor in silence. The sounds of machines and of pickaxes, of stones being carried and of turning cogs echo endlessly. The camera follows the men closely as they crawl down the tunnel betwixt lantern light and darkness. Sometimes they talk while they work, calling out to one another and making jokes. The director pieces together the fragments of labor and of the mine as if they were the tiny fragments of stone, aragane, that the miners dig out from the mine. We emerge from below ground, into the snow.

[Director’s Statement] I was spellbound by the miners, by the physicality of their labor and by the underground space in which they worked, which differed so vastly from the outside world. They gave me the opportunity to look into their world through a camera, edit together the fragments I captured into a whole, and share it with others in the form of a film. I learned much from the miners and was blessed by their warmth and I wondered what I could offer in return. It is to show ARAGANE to someone. Sharing little by little with that someone how the miners exist there, and what their work space is like—this is my own modest way of repaying them.

Just a few years ago, I would have felt it impossible for me, as a Japanese person, to shoot a film in Bosnia. The language barrier and cultural differences were problems, of course. But I know now that the crucial thing is finding a topic that enthralls me enough that I’d keep shooting no matter what. Because of my roots, I have a natural inclination toward Japan rather than other countries, and my family more than strangers. But through the process of creating ARAGANE, I realized that the essence of shooting a film is the same no matter where I am, as long as I am drawn into something.

- Oda Kaori

Born in Osaka in 1987. At Hollins University, Oda Kaori directed the film Thus a Noise Speaks as her senior thesis in 2010. Since 2013, she has been studying at film.factory, the program to nurture filmmakers founded by Tarr Béla. ARAGANE is her first feature-length film.