The Shiranui Sea
Four years after Minamata: The Victims and Their World, Tsuchimoto’s camera focuses on the everyday lives of the victims of mercury poisoning. The Shiranui Sea explores how daily life went on in the area in the wake of this slow violence, attending to the vulnerability and resilience of the community and their environment. Fisherman still knowingly catch and eat the mercury-laden fish caught in the beautiful Shiranui Sea because that is what they have always done and that is how they relate to nature. Some patients who received significant compensation from Chisso, the polluter, may now live in good houses, but without doing work their lives seem somehow empty. The real victims remain the children, who are now getting older and in some cases increasingly conscious of the fact they are different from other children.
Noriaki Tsuchimoto was a Japanese documentary film director known for his films on Minamata disease and examinations of the effects of modernization on Asia.