Inori

Extra Notes
I translated a series of film summaries for the 2013 Yebisu Festival for Art and Alternative Visions official catalog, which was sold onsite at the festival. This is my translation of a film summary for Inori《祈》, a version in which the last sentence has been modified appears in the festival catalog.

山奥にある、小さなコミュニティの情景を点描したドキュメンタリー《祈-Inori》は、ささやかな日常へのまなざしを通して、より大きなテーマを浮かび上がらせている。

The documentary Inori depicts a broad theme through its portrayal of scenes from a modest, everyday life in a small community nestled deep within the mountains.

舞台となった奈良県十津川村は、明治時代に大水害にあい壊滅状態となった過去がある。奈良県の最南端であり、紀伊半島の中央部の山間に位置しており、しばしば陸の孤島とも称される。

The film is set Nara Prefecture’s Totsukawa Village, which was devastated by a severe flood during the Meiji Period. Located near the southernmost end of Nara Prefecture between the central mountains of the Kii Peninsula, the village is often called a landlocked remote island.

小さな集落である神納川では、若者たちは街へ出て行き、かつて賑わいを見せた村はひっそりとし、数少ない村人たちが暮らしている。彼らは、歴史を受け継ぎつつ、自然ととも生き、そこで繰り返される「生命」の循環を見つめながら、日々の営みを積み重ねてゆく。

Abandoned by its younger generations, the now-quiet Kannogawa was once a bustling small settlement, but now remains home to only a few villagers. These people spend their time inheriting their history and living with nature, therefore continuously observing the circle of life while going about their daily tasks.

「ゆく川のながれは絶えずして、しかも、もとの水にあらず」という名文で著名な、災害と無常観をテーマにした鴨長明の随筆『方丈記』をモチーフとしながら、淡々としたタッチにより、山や川の風景や動物たち、村人たちの姿を綴っていく。そして、人が自然と向き合いどう共存していくのか、という問いを投げかける。

Playing on “The current of the flowing river does not cease, and yet the water is not the same water as before,” a famous line from Kamo no Chōmei’s An Account of My Hut (Hōjōki) as translated by Chambers, the film depicts the appearance of the villagers, the animals and the mountains and rivers of the landscape in a simple way, employing a motif of disasters and impermanence, and raises the question of how humans should coexist with nature.

この作品は2011年4月に撮影されたが、同年9月に紀伊半島大水害が発生し、山崩れを含む甚大な被害を被った。もはや風景は変わってしまったが、奇しくも、本作により映像に残されることとなった。

The film was shot in April 2011, but in September of the same year, the Kii Peninsula flooded and was damaged by a tremendous landslide. The scenery has now changed, though miraculously, a reflection of it has been preserved in this film.

    2013 Yebisu International Festival for Arts and Alternative Vision