Shoreline Movements: The Shiranui Sea (Shiranuikai)

This film is part of the exhibition Shoreline Movements, a program of non-fiction films curated by Erika Balsom and Grégory Castéra (Council), in a space designed by Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, for the Taipei Biennial 2020.

In 1965, Noriaki Tsuchimoto initiated what would become a sustained practice of chronicling the socio-political, environmental, legal, and medical dimensions of mercury poisoning in and around Minamata Bay. Across some seventeen films, Tsuchimoto charted how methylmercury in the wastewater of a chemical factory owned by the Chisso Corporation decimated marine life and caused severe neurological problems and fatalities in those who ate the contaminated seafood. Made after Chisso was found guilty of corporate negligence in 1973, The Shiranui Sea explores how daily life went on in the area. Tsuchimoto does not shy away from the depiction of suffering and insists on accountability, while manifesting a tremendous capacity for listening and compassion. Human and non-human life are shown to be mutually interdependent, with both emerging as vulnerable to harm and resilient in its aftermath.

The Shiranui Sea (Shiranuikai), 1975, 153:00

By

  • Tsuchimoto Noriaki

Images courtesy of Seirinsha