”Facing reality, what is to be done?” is the headline of the introductory text of the site of the bi-annual, reputed documentary film festival in Yamagata, Japan. In March this year the earth quake in Japan followed by the Fukushima nuclear power accident became top stories all over the world as well as its tragic consequences. Yamagata is a couple of hundred kilometers away from the epicenter of the earth quake. Respect!”
The festival stops tomorrow but the award recipients have already been announced. The Grand Prize given by a jury headed by Canadian director Atom Egoyan – the so-called Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize – was given to Israeli director couple Ruthie Shatz and Adi Barash for their ”The Collaborator and His Family” (will be reviewed on filmkommentaren in some days). The Mayor’s Prize went to Patricio Guzman for his masterpiece ”Nostalgia for the Light”. The film by Vadim Jendreyko, ”The Woman with the 5 Elephants” had two prizes, one being a Citizen Prize, which was also given to ”Iranian Cookbook” by Mohammad Shirvani.
In the Asian category ”Yuguo and His Mother” by Chinese Gu Tao received the main prize. Several other Asian films were awarded – regret to say that I do not know them, but read about them on the site below.