“Deep South – Deep South Movie Matchmaking:Cerebration of Okinawa and Thai Deep South Filmmakers”
September 7-13, 2020 (Online screening)
Free admission (Please register in order to watch the films.)
For program 1-5: https://forms.gle/KX8QRsHiCWpBT56t9
For program 6-7: https://forms.gle/6buJcfQcgYQ4mmWB6
* Upon registration, we will send the link to the films.
** Six (6) Japanese films under Program 1 to 4 and five (5) Thai films under Program 5 are available for 7 days from 7pm on September 7 to 12pm on September 13. You can watch it anytime during this period.
*** Ten Thai films (Program 6 and 7) will be available for 4 hours from 2pm to 6pm on September 13. You can watch it anytime during this period.
The talk events on September 7 and 13 will be live streamed at Facebook pages of the Japan Foundation, Bangkok and Documentary Club. No advanced registration is needed.
Organized by: The Japan Foundation, Bangkok Documentary Club in collaboration with Deep South Filmmakers Project
Supported by: Art in the time of COVID-19 project, Graduate School of Global Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts
The Japan Foundation, Bangkok and Documentary Club Thailand in collaboration with Deep South Young Filmmakers proudly present “Deep South – Deep South Movie Matchmaking: Cerebration of Okinawa and Thai Deep South Filmmakers”
Thailand’s Deep South stretches from the border with Malaysia up through the provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. More than 80% of the population in this area are Muslims while 94% of the national population are Buddhists in Thailand. This area was ruled by a Malay dynasty, Pattani Kingdom from 14th to 19th century. These factors made this area unique where the strong influence by Malay culture can be observed. Against this historical and cultural background, a series of violent resistance attempts by the extremists were being made to claim the independence. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan issued the level 3 security alert and restricts the travel to this area.
Okinawa is one of the 47 provinces of Japan and consists 160 islands. It is located in the southernmost and easternmost area in Japanese territory. Okinawa was occupied by the United States for 27 years after the end of World War II until it was returned to Japan in 1972. Okinawa comprises only 0.6% of Japan’s total land area, but the about 70% of US force facilities are concentrated to this prefecture. The presence of US base in Okinawa is controversial. Further back in history, this region existed as an independent kingdom called the Ryukyu Kingdom over 450 years from 1929 to 1879 and developed its unique culture under the influence of Japanese and Chinese cultures. Due to such historical background, there are large differences from the four major islands of Japan in terms of culture, customs and dialects as well as industries, population composition and income disparity.
“Deep South” is the common key word to connect Thailand’s Deep South and Okinawa. Through this Deep South – Deep South Movie Matchmaking project, we are going to introduce the movies dealing with the two regions and to promote the cultural exchange among the filmmakers online. The two “Deep South” regions were interconnected through maritime trade when both of them were independent. This online film festival will provide the platform to reconsider the similarities and differences in the two regions and to explore the new connections.
Program 1 Endless Past KAWADA Jun (72 mins／2016)
A film that documents the actual story regarding the inheritance of the Battle of Okinawa, as filmed by filmmaker Jun Kawada. Kawada met a man who has been collecting the remains of the war dead and other artifacts in Okinawa Prefecture for over fifty years, and he begins to help him with the process. One day, the man shows Kawada a piece of property left behind that has the names engraved on it and asks him to find this person's family with the names on it. Kawada starts to find the person and his family using the documents and resources of the war that exist in Japan.
Program 2 Making a Perfect Donut Kyun-Chome (95 mins／2018)
"Making a Perfect Donut" is a video work focused on US military base issue in Okinawa by Kyun-Chome who works as a contemporary artist in Japan. This film is a project documentary that started from the question “If one was to combine an American donut with its hole in the center, and a round shaped Okinawan donut; wouldn't that be a perfect, holeless donut regardless of which side of the military fence it is seen?” The video consists of two parts. The first part of the video entails asking the above question to people who are affected by the military base in different ways, and who have complex emotions towards the base. The people who were asked include: the leader of an organization that opposes the construction of new military bases, the director of a private anti-war museum, a mixed-race comedian whose father is a U.S. soldier, and the owner of a company that does construction work for new military bases. The second part entails negotiating with the U.S. military managing staff, and actually creating a perfect donut across the fence.
Program 3 The Catcher on the Shore NAKAMURA Ryugo (84 mins／2010)
Film produced by director Nakamura Ryugo when he was 13 years old in Okinawa. Hiroto who is a 6th year elementary school student was born in Naha. He took a bus alone to the northern part of the Mainland to spend his winter holidays in his mother's rural village of Nakijin. Living in the red-tiled Uchinar（means "Okinawa" in Okinawan dialect.） house are a kindly old lady and an old man, a rough uncle Yuji, his cousin Ryuya who is the same age as Hiroto, and two little goats, Pochi and Shiro. Hiroto having a good time in nature with the boys who grew up in Yanbaru.（means "deep forest" in Okinawan dialect.）One day, Hiroto notices that Pochi is missing from the two goats. However, what Hiroto sees is Pochi being " mashed up " by the locals. While Hiroto is shocked, Uncle Hiroshi tries to sell Shiro. Just then, Shiro runs away!
Girl of the Sea NAKAMURA Ryugo (93 mins／2016)
A fictional film based on the U.S. military base issue in Okinawa. Yume who is a high school student in Okinawa, took the sight of the U.S. military bases standing in her neighborhood as a common sense from the time she was born. Even if she knew that the people of Okinawa were divided in opinion on the construction of the base in favor of and against it, it wasn't a big problem for Yume until his classmate Yusuke disappears... Yusuke is terribly disturbed by the fact that the beautiful sea is being destroyed by the construction of the base, and he suddenly disappears without a trace. To find Yusuke, Yume visits the village where the construction of the base is being planned. In that village, people have long lived in the sea, mountains, and other areas of nature, begging for forgiveness from the God of the nature field. Should the base be built? And will the struggle over the base ever come to an end? The wishes of villagers, the wishes of Yusuke who has disappeared, and the wishes of God. Yume finds an answer to the many wishes that are suddenly coming to her.
Program 4 Boundaries FUKUCHI Riko (20 mins／2019)
A short film about a teenage escapade set in the near future in decadent Okinawa. In the years 2100, the main island of Okinawa located at the southern edge of Japan was divided into a safe and developed area called the base, and an otherwise desolate area of land. Inside the base was a well-maintained space where only wealthy people not just Americans were allowed to live, and drones were constantly flying around people's lives for observation. Lisa, a young girl with Okinawan blood who was born and raised in the base, Atom has Japanese roots, and Arzu who has roots in his Chinese immigrant ancestors are childhood friends. The three of them led by Lisa go out at night outside of the base to do mischief in the city off the outlawed base. Even if they were found to be misbehaving, if they could escape back to the base, they would never be punished. One day, Lisa is fascinated by a painting of a mermaid she has picked up from outside the base. Together with Atom and Arzu, who were also lost in the controlled life inside the base, they go outside the base again to look for the mermaid.
Clear FUKUCHI Riko (44 mins／2015)
One summer, Ganaha, a college student returning to his hometown of Okinawa, wanted to spend his time somewhere else in quiet rather than at his family' house. However, there is already a visitor at the house he rents. The young man, Aoyagi from a Tokyo medical school asks him for a request one after another without hesitation. Furthermore, another girl who is deaf begins to appear in this house. What the happens between Aoyagi's aloofness and Ganaha's declining as introspective looks. What the occurs between in the mountain where the disastrous machine in Ganaha's dream and somewhere in-between the white, flaccid, painful streets of Koza. The film describes the struggles of these young men in Okinawa.
Program 5 I’m Not Your F***ing Stereotype Hesome Chemamah (29 mins／2019)
The story of Maryam, a Muslim girl from Deep Southern Thailand. She has to deal with the stereotyped gaze from other religion students that gave her the Identity Crisis. They also made her hate everything from her name, her hometown, her religion to her birthdate (the day 9/11 happened!)
Neverland Samak Kosem, Narasit Kaesaprasit, Anuwat Apimukmongkon (13 mins／2017)
The waves that repeatedly lap against a beach bring to mind the obstinate societal forces that queer and racialized bodies face. The work follows a non-binary character who runs along gleefully in an imaginary land that has no traditional definitions of gender. In reality, the film is set on a shore in a predominantly Muslim part of south Thailand. Viewers see glimpses of the reactions of passersby, ranging from angry glares and nervous, awkward chatter to children’s laughter, intermingled with Islamic teachings that are broadcast from a mosque close by.
The Journey of Isolation Bhandavis Depchand (25 mins／2018)
A young journalist travelled to cover a story in the southernmost region of Thailand, known as a land of separatist insurgency. She ventured to Pattani province where "Pauji Tasamoh" suspected for planting a bomb. He was later shot dead by military personnels. She feels something is not right about Pauji's death. She decided to stay with Pauji's family to discover as much as she could, from the village's daily life to what really happened that day when Pauji is shot dead.
So-Khin Chaweng Chaiyawan (18 mins／2018)
So and Khin, a married couple from Myanmar, are employed on a on a rubber plantation within southern Thailand. Exploited by their employer due to the high competition for work in the area, the couple faces the struggle of overly demanding labour and persecution from unemployed locals. Their harrowing situation is staged in the midst of political unrest between the three southern Thai provinces.
Ar-Por Paisit Wangrangseesthit (21 mins／2017)
Under the water of Bang Lang dam lies the home of multiple families who were forced to abandon their lives there when the dam was constructed. This documentary followed the story of 'Ar-Por', grandma of a family who had no choice but to start their life anew. And for the first time in 38 years, the old village surfaced from the water. Past long gone brought back from the depth.
Program 6 The Life Young Yim Team（17 mins／2019）
Lee supports his wife and son by foraging for wild food and meat. One day, a gunshot rings out from deep in the jungle. What happens later will change the future of Lee’s family forever.
Youth TL Production Team（17 mins／2019）
Two teenage boys, Don and Jedi, are inseparable. Don has a crush on Ticha, a young girl and close friend of Ava. Trying to win the heart of Ticha, Don fails to realise that he has left someone anxious and heartbroken.
Learning With You Nayu Rama Team（20 mins／2019）
A Muslim fish delivery boy has a crush on a Chinese-Thai teenage girl and daughter of a fish merchant. The boy tries to win her heart, while the girl deflects the attention and instead tutors him with school subjects. One day, the boy attempts a bold move that changes everything between them.
Haleem and Fern Happy Sad Sunday Team（12 mins／2019）
Haleem is a Muslim boy who hangs out with Fern, a non-Muslim girl whose family spends the summer at Haleem’s village. The two children spend innocent days playing and learning that the world and their feelings can be complicated.
Melagu Beawalk Film Team（12 mins／2019）
This short documentary revisits the passion for music in the Deep South region. Told through three musicians from three generations, the film chronicles the journey of sound and attitude in the deeply Islamic community.
Program 7 Ka-Pho Smart End Game Team（13 mins／2019）
A boy holds grudges against state officials after an incident involving his father. When he grows up, his view is challenged by an encounter with a young soldier.
The Ghost’s View Dek Film Team（17 mins／2019）
A group of young men hole up in an abandoned warehouse. They're doing something they prefer the authorities not to know about. But as they revisit the pain of the past and try to understand a traumatic incident, something else happens, and the wounds return to the surface.
Dek Ponok Hi Sun Flower Team（16 mins／2019）
A new boy called Hassan moves to a pondok school, where he meets three new friends. One night the friends start telling Hassan about the spirit that haunts the school ground.
End Game Wesion Team（12 mins／2019）
A 17-year-old Muslim girl gets pregnant out of wedlock. The family, unable to resist social pressure, resorts to a solution that saves everyone’s face but not the girl’s pride.
When the Fish Sauce Was Illegal Tum-naung-set-laew-lung-yang-yoo-mai Team（14 mins／2019）
Budu is a southern-style sauce, but lately it has become a codename for illegal stuff. A brother and sister who runs a legit Budu shop are having financial trouble when a mysterious man calls to order a large amount of Budu. They decide to take it, but it means the brother will have to risk checkpoints to deliver the goods.
*Consecutive interpretation in Thai and Japanese is available.
1. Opening Lecture “Towards New Deep South: Turning Adversities into Creative Exchange”
Monday, September 7, 2020 19:00-21:00（Thai time）
This opening event helps you to think how the concept of “Deep South” connects Okinawa and Thailand’s Deep South and to deepen the understanding the program. We will invite two experts and let them discuss about the history, culture and current situation in these areas.
Lecturer: Prof. Thanes Arpornsuwan (Professor, Thammasat University) Prof. WAKABAYASHI Chiyo (Professor, University of Okinawa)
Moderator: Mr. Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa (Organizer of this project / Documentary Club) Ms. IHARADA Haruka (Curator of this project / Research associate, Tokyo University of Arts)
2. Director’s Talk Session
Sunday, September 13, 2020 19:00-21:00（Thai time）
The film directors from Thailand and Japan will talk about their films and their perception towards “Deep South”. They also exchange ideas and thoughts through the discussion. We will accept questions towards them through live streaming.
Speaker (Thailand): Ms. Pimpaka Towira (Deep South Filmmakers Project / Film director) Mr. Paisit Wangranseesathit (Director of “Ar-Por”) Ms. Ameena Alae (Director of “End Game”) Mr. Muhamasubay Deng (Director of “The Life”) Mr. Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa (Organizer of this project / Documentary Club)
Speaker (Japan): Mr. KAWADA Jun (Film director) Kyun-Chome (Artist) Mr. NAKAMURA Ryugo (Film director) Ms. FUKUCHI Riko (Film director) Ms. IHARADA Haruka (Curator of this project / Research associate, Tokyo University of Arts)
“Deep South – Deep South Movie Matchmaking: Cerebration of Okinawa and Thai Deep South Filmmakers” is an online film festival focusing on films from Okinawa and Thailand's Deep South, with an aim to make it a starting point for future exchanges between filmmakers of these two regions. At the same time, this project is also an effort for us to understand the political situation and social position of each region through films in order to discover similarities and differences between the two regions, and to explore a concept of this new point of connection between two regions as well as to identify "Deep South" as a geographical keyword.
I have never visited Thailand Deep South, only visited somewhere nearby. I started traveling between Southeast Asia and Japan about five years ago because of my university job, and it was only recently that I started to feel a sense of familiarity with the area. I had an opportunity to collaborate with Documentary Club (DC) Thailand when they organized a screening event in 2017 entitled “Against Apathy to Politics: Recent Japanese Activist-Artist Film”. Since then, I began to hear about Deep South and Deep South Young Filmmakers Project from DC members and Bangkok-based curator Keiko Sei and I have been drawn to the power of their highly ambitious efforts. I wanted to have an opportunity to watch these films myself to begin with, and that's how this online film festival came about.
Generally speaking, the “Thailand’s Deep South" is the area including Pattani, Yarra and Narathiwat provinces near the border with Malaysia; this is a Muslim majority area while the majority of the population in Thailand is Buddhists. The area has a history to be an independent nation in the past called the Pattani Kingdom. The Pattani Kingdom, which prospered through trade, had established its own relationships with many foreign countries including Ryukyu. The sovereignty was later replaced by direct control by Thai government, and as a result, the conflict over the Pattani independence continues still today. This situation as well as the history of the region is not known to many in Japan, myself included.
However, when I imagine the feelings of the people living in Deep South, which is situated much further South than Japan or even Okinawa, I feel like I resonate with them. And there are some things that I want to ask to them: How do you think about your land and culture, which you are deeply rooted, and What is your view on the characteristics of them? Living in a nation that may be forcing you to belong to, how are you developing the cultural characteristics that are rooted in the land and history of your people? And, how do you accept – or reject – the views of people and nations that you confront with and you feel far apart from, and how do you feel about this situation? How do you see, perceive and live with the struggles you may face when you decided to seek independence? and violence and confusion that may result from that struggle? These are the questions that I also want to ask to people in Okinawa, where I was born and raised, as well as to people who see Okinawa from outside. And these are the questions, above all else, that I must find some answers on my own. Okinawa is located at the southernmost part of Japan and it can be called, geographically, "Deep South” of Japan. In addition, we can find similarities between Deep South Thailand and Okinawa in terms of social position. Historically, Okinawa used to be an independent kingdom called Ryukyu; it is the only place in Japan that has experienced a ground war; and the conflict with Japanese state over U.S. military bases still continues even today. Of course, the specific situations and contexts that people in Deep South of Thailand and Okinawa can be different. However, I think we can resonate with each other by the fact that we both have disconnected and often problematic relationship with states (the central government) that position us as "Deep South" regardless of our history.
So, how can we create a new point of connection between these two regions — Okinawa and Thailand’s Deep South? It may be that I am still only imaginatively resonating with this far away land that I have never visited. In order to make this resonance clearer, it may be better to contemplate through the works that offer us to look at the two regions from various angles. “Deep South Deep South Movie Matchmaking” is, so to speak, the beginning of the process of ensuring the imaginative resonance of these two regions.
“Endless Past”, a video work by Jun Kawada from Program 1, is a documentary film and a record of an actual incident concerning the remains of the Battle of Okinawa. The documentary provides a deep insight into how the facts of past wars have been continued in the present time. The "collection of the bones and remains" and the people who collect them in the film are well known in Okinawa. Even though the memory of the battle of Okinawa and the WW II in general need to be passed on to generations and talked about, in the people's complex feelings about those memories, however, there are countless voices that we might miss. This story revolves solely through the "voices" of Kawada and the people he meets. The story has an unexpected ending, which Kawada himself experienced, and I hope the audience "listen to the voice” of the story and face with it.
“Making Perfect Donuts" by Kyun-chome from Program 2 is a video work by a unit of male and female contemporary artists who are known for exploring various artistic expressions. The film begins with a question: “If you combine an American donut, which has a hole in the center, and a round shaped holeless Okinawan donut, through a military fence of U.S. base, wouldn't that create a perfect, holeless donut?” When asked this question, people in Okinawa respond with various answers. The "donut" here is a metaphor for Okinawa and the United States (or the issue of the U.S. military base). This humorous question may sound like a kind of ludicrous. As you can see in the film, I was one of the people who were asked this question, and when I first heard it, I even felt a little angry. If you live in Okinawa, we are always surrounded by questions about "Okinawa and the U.S. or the base issue": whether you agree or disagree with the existence of the bases, or whether you agree or disagree with the construction of the new bases (which has been planned). When asked these questions, some people respond patiently, some angrily, some feel disgusted to be asked these questions to begin with, and some decide to fight against being asked all together. There is no single "answer" to these questions, even for people in Okinawa. Then, after watching this film, how would you answer to this humorous(?) question of Kyun-chome? And how would you communicate these questions and answers to others?
“The Catcher on the Shore” and “Girl of the Sea” from Program 3 were made by Ryugo Nakamura who was born and raised in Okinawa. Nakamura made “The Catcher on the Shore” when he was still a thirteen-years-old junior high school student and at that time the film created a bit of a stir, regionally and nationally, because of the director’s age. I am the same generation as Nakamura, and grew up in a remote island that belongs to Okinawa prefecture, which is, even in Okinawa standard, rural. With this background, I can see that the scenes and people in “The Catcher on the Shore” such as the celebration of eating goats or daily lives of kids in front of shops are portrayed so accurately and in such details that I even felt like I had seen them somewhere before. “Girl of the Sea” is an independent feature fiction film that the director made when he was a college student. Although the story happens in a non-existent town and tells a fictional story, the feelings of the young people who are troubled by the base issue are depicted in such a realistic manner that it even astonished me, having lived in Okinawa around the same period. Those young people in the story do not use many words to express their anxieties, anger or resentment. I hope the audience could feel some words that Nakamura managed to knit out of few words that these young people have spoken, and imagine their feelings that are embedded in the margins of those words that are not too descriptive.
“Clear” and “Boundaries” from Program 4 were made by Riko Fukuchi who was born and raised in Okinawa like Nakamura and myself. “Clear” tells the story of complicated communication between two young men: an Okinawan college student who returned home and a graduate student from Tokyo who came to Okinawa. And I would like the audience to give an attention to the portrayal of the cities where the story unfolds. One of them is called Koza, a town located in central Okinawa. Since the town is located next to the U.S. military base, it has gone through many changes from prosperity to decline living side by side with the base and the U.S. military. “Boundaries" is her newer short film. The film has no dialogue and depicts a fictional future Okinawa. Just like "Clear", however, it features some scenes from the present day Koza. In the story, the city is depicted as a bizarre, decadent town of the past where no human are seen. It looks as if it were a real scene from Okinawa 100 years later, creating a view of the city that is materially different from the commonly held image of Okinawa. Okinawa is a small island, but the effects of the U.S. military base and the changes caused by the base vary from town to town and area to area.
In order for us to deeply understand cultural characteristics and social position of a region, we need to look at the various elements of the region. The landscapes, people, and stories of Okinawa as captured and reflected by artists/directors in each program are very different from one another. To each program, some audience may feel that some depictions are correct, some may sympathize with them, some may feel uncomfortable, confusing, or some may even tremble with anger. Still, each film here undoubtedly captures the essence of Okinawa on its own way. I sincerely wanted to bring these works to the people in the Deep South across the ocean so that they can help them deeper understand Okinawa in an inspiring manner.
We feel the agony of trying to create the cross-border exchange in the time of COVID-19 pandemic. Realizing this endeavor online is not impossible, and I believe it is possible for us to find possibilities and new discoveries that transcend all the distances. Still, I wish I could visit Thailand Deep South to physically understand the region. Similarly, I hope, one day, participants of this project to come to Okinawa to see it with their own eyes and experience it. For that day, I sincerely hope this project to become an opportunity for participants to imagine about each other’s place. Finally, I would like to thank the Japan Foundation Bangkok Cultural Center, the Documentary Club and Deep South Filmmakers Project for making this project possible, Keiko Sei who was the inspiration for this project, the two guest speakers, and most importantly, all the participating filmmakers and the many people who helped make this possible.
Haruka Iharada (Curator of this project)
Deep South – Deep South Movie Matchmaking: Cerebration of Okinawa and Thai Deep South Filmmakers
イベント概要 [日時] 2020年９月７日（月）から13日（日） [会場]オンライン事業 [料金] 無料
主催： 国際交流基金バンコク日本文化センター ドキュメンタリー·クラブ 深南部若手映画制作者プロジェクト
協力： 東京藝術大学大学院国際芸術創造研究科 COVID-19時代における文化芸術プロジェクト
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* 受付が完了しましたら、特設サイトへのリンクをお送りします。 * プログラム１から4の日本映画6作ならびにプログラム5のタイ映画5作は、9月7日（月）21時（日本時間）から14日（月）午前2時（日本時間）までお好きな時間にご覧いただけます。 * プログラム6と7のタイ映画10作は、9月13日（日）の16時から20時まで（日本時間）の特別上映となります。この時間内でお好きな時間にご覧いただけます。
Program 1 終わらない過去 川田淳（72分／2016年）
Program 2 完璧なドーナツをつくる キュンチョメ（95分／2018年）
Program 3 やぎの冒険 仲村颯悟（84分／2010年）
Program 4 Boundaries 福地リコ（20分／2019年）
Program 5 I’m Not Your F***ing Stereotype ヒーサン·チェママ（29分／2019年）
The Journey of Isolation パンタウィット·テープジャン（25分／2018年）
Program 6 The Life Young Yim Team（17分／2019年）
Youth TL Production Team（17分／2019年）
Learning With You Nayu Rama Team（20分／2019年）
Haleem and Fern Happy Sad Sunday Team（12分／2019年）
Melagu Beawalk Film Team（12分／2019年）
Program 7 Ka-Pho Smart End Game Team（13分／2019年）
The Ghost’s View Dek Film Team（17分／2019年）
Dek Ponok Hi Sun Flower Team（16分／2019年）
End Game Wesion Team（12分／2019年）
When the Fish Sauce Was Illegal Tum-naung-set-laew-lung-yang-yoo-mai Team（14分／2019年）
1. オープニング·レクチャー 「新たな“ディープ·サウス”に向けて：逆境を創造的な交流へ」 9月7日（月） 21:00〜23:00 ※日本時間
2. ディレクター トークセッション 9月13日（日） 21:00〜23:00 ※日本時間 上映作品の監督や制作者を迎えてのトークセッションです。当日は、生配信を通じて視聴者からの質問も受け付けます。
タイ側登壇者：ピンパカ·トゥイラ（深南部若手映画制作者プロジェクト主催／映画監督）、パイシット·ワンランシーサティット（映画監督）、アーミーナー·アーレー（End Game制作者）、ムハーマスベー·デン（The Life制作者）、ウィワット·ラートウィワットウォン（本映画祭主催者／ドキュメンタリー·クラブ）