Take your time -Arayashiki

A Seiichi Motohashi Film
Motohashi’ s other important works are “Nadya’ s Village” and “Alexei and the Spring.”

Take your time -Arayashiki

The world is full of great variety
And we are all strangers

This documentary was filmed at Maki, a small commune at the foot of Japan’s Northern Alps in Nagano Prefecture.
Maki is deep in the mountains, inaccessible to vehicles. The residents have to walk a narrow mountain path for 90 minutes to get in or out. Various kinds of people with varying mental and physical problems live alongside their healthy fellows in a grand two storied thatched house. They eke out a living by growing their own food and bartering for essential items.

Some walk very steadily and slowly. Some speak a language known only to them. Some will suddenly burst into song. Each is unique but all work together, help each other and live in a dignified harmony. In the Commune Maki, all living creatures, including humans, goats and chickens, are all equal. Their lives are ruled by Mother Nature and they take each day as it comes, one at a time.

Spring, summer, autumn and winter…
As the seasons change, the residents deal with problems brought on by heavy rain or snow. They fix broken pathways and dams and remove the snow from the roof of their grand house. People are constantly entering and leaving Commune Maki. New lives are born. Commune Maki accepts everyone and everything while remaining true to itself and its original intentions. This constant repetition of seasons and events is as regular as breathing and they imbibe Commune Maki with an almost living presence.
Renowned Japanese photographer Seiichi Motohashi is well-known for his works capturing people who live in and with nature. “Take your time” is the Motohashi’s first film in 6 years.

Director’s statement
Mr. Shinichiro Miyajima, the founder of Kyodogakusha Communes was my teacher at junior high school. Just as in the Kyodogakusha Communes, my school’s fundamental concept was to create a harmonized, rather than a competitive society. After I graduated from school, Japan became ever richer in material goods. I always believed material wealth and spiritual wealth were totally different issues. Then I started visiting Commune Maki and I realized that here was an actual realization of the original concept I was taught at school. That’s why I made this film.

Director’s profile
Seiichi Motohashi (1940 – ) was born in Tokyo. A photographer and film director, he chronicles life in fish markets, slaughterhouses, circuses and theater troupes, as well as in places like Africa and Iraq. His photography book A Coal Mine won the Taiyo Prize in 1968. Since 1991 he has spent time in Ukraine and Belarus, filming communities contaminated by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the people who continue to live there. Works on this theme include his 1997 film Nadya’s Village and the book by the same title, which won the 1998 Domon Ken Award. His second film, Alexei and the Spring, won the 2002 Readers’ Prize of the Berliner Zeitung and the International Cine Club Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. Other works include the films Namii to utaeba (If You Sing with Namii, 2006) and A Thousand Year Song of Baobab (2009), and the photography collection On a Small Bridge in Iraq, with text by Natsuki Ikezawa(author).The photos latest work “Toba(Slaughterhouses)”.

Contact to:
Takahiro Otsuki
E-MAIL : arayashikimovie@gmail.com
TEL : +81-3-3227-3005 FAX : +81-3-3227-1406

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