Aya Tanaka
Belgium, Japan | 2012 | 50 min
World premiere
Language : Japanese
Subtitle : English

A sister films her big brother (big in both senses of the term), who has become agoraphobic. A daughter films her father, who has shrunk in common with his ideals. So, Aya Tanaka, a Japanese living in Belgium and a member of the “Lost Gene”, films her Japanese family, the exhaustion of bodies sunk in darkness, in an attempt to avert their disappearance and the loss of her childhood.

Aya Tanaka, who lives in Belgium, filmed her father Yasou in 2004 in Harimano, named for his native village, which he had been forced to leave on account of his Communist beliefs. Eau douce Eau salée takes the theme of rootlessness a stage further, into the social sphere, studying the figure of her older brother, suffering from agoraphobia after a succession of poorly paid jobs. He vegetates in a tiny room at his parents’ home, which his body alone seems to fill. The voices are grainy, the dialogue hesitant, the approach delicate, as if the close-ups of her brother, who literally spills out of the frame, were intended as a counterpoint to the dry body of her father, whom she films at medium range: a father defeated by this “monstrous” son, who embodies the failure of his own past struggles. Like her brother, Aya Tanaka belongs to the lost generation that Yasou has been unable to save. So she films the exhaustion of these bodies, sunk in semi-darkness, fitfully lit by images saturated with the colours of childhood, and attempts in thus fine cinematic gesture to cope with the agony of a crushed social class.

Emmanuel Chicon

Translation BMP Translations

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