The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017
Odd Obsessions - Desires, Hopes and Impulses in Japanese Cinema
3 February to 29 March 2017
Tale of a Butcher Shop
ある精肉店のはなし (Aru seinikuten no hanashi)
An award-winning documentary about the Kitades and their family-run butcher shop in Kaizuka City (outside Osaka), where they have been raising and slaughtering cattle, and selling their meat in their small shop for over 100 years. Aya Hanabusa’s touching documentary follows the family upon their decision to shut down their long-running slaughterhouse and looks at how the three butcher siblings have devoted their lives to the trade.
Containing unflinching scenes of animal slaughter, the film reveals the intricate, old-fashioned and reverential procedures the family follow in processing the meat. The seventh generation of their family’s business, the Kitades are descendants of the Buraku people, a social minority in Japan who are still subject to discrimination today and Hanabusa’s film touches upon the family’s continuing struggle to make their living despite the persistence of ancient prejudices.
Warning: Some scenes that show the slaughtering process may be disturbing for viewers.
Distributor: Pole Pole Times
Director: Aya Hanabusa
2013, 109mins, English subtitles