Narita: Peasants of the Second Fortress
Japan / 1971 / B&W / 143 min / 16mm
In Japanese with English Subtitles
The fourth installment of the Narita Series, made during the third year of the Sanrizuka farmers’ struggles against the authorities over the Narita Airport Project. At that time, the prefectural and airport authorities began a program of forced requisition of land at six strategic points, using bulldozers and riot police to clear and destroy the farmers’ barricades and “fortresses”. Still, the farmers and students, bloodied and tattered, faced their attackers. The women of the villages chained themselves to the barricades and one another, and taunted the government forces, yelling “Here we are, hog-tied – why don’t you kill us with our land?” The protestors rebuilt their towers and barricades almost as soon as they were torn down, and even went so far as to build a maze of tunnels, determined to fight a battle of endurance there in candle light.

Restricted by a lack of equipment in their previous works, Narita: Peasants of the Second Fortress marks the first use by Ogawa Productions of synchronized sound recording for an entire film. The film was widely shown abroad, and won the Josef von Sternberg Prize at the Manheim Film Festival. (From the catalogue of Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival '93)

agnès b. CINEMA
8/11/2011(Tue) 7:30PM