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Saturday, July 23, 2016

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DOCUMENTARY FOCUS

Special Sneak Preview

Introduction and Q&A with director Tatsuya Mori, moderated by filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda

Born to atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima, Mamoru Samuragochi, a self-taught classical composer with a degenerative condition causing deafness, was celebrated as a "Japanese Beethoven" for the digital age. However, just prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, where Samuragochi's Sonatina for Violin was to accompany figure skater Daisuke Takahashi, part-time university lecturer Takashi Niigaki revealed that he had served as the composer's ghostwriter for 18 years, that Samuragochi couldn't notate music and, in fact, could hear perfectly. As Samuragochi's recordings were pulled and performances cancelled, Niigaki enjoyed success on TV talk shows. Filmmaker Tatsuya Mori finds Samuragochi holed up in his small Yokohama apartment with his wife and cat, ready to tell his side of the story. A mesmerizing character study skewering media duplicity and constructions of ability/disability, in which Samuragochi's career has collapsed, taking fact and fiction with it.

2016. 109 min. (Japan version). DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Tatsuya Mori. With Mamoru Samuragochi, Takashi Niigaki, Tatsuya Mori.

“The entreaty ‘you’d better not film this’ seems to be a signal for [Mori] to zoom in even closer on his subject.” —International Documentary Film Amsterdam on Tatsuya Mori’s A2

Part of JAPAN CUTS 2016.
 
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