Sumiko Haneda

  • Sumiko Haneda – Hayachine no fu AKA Ode to Mt. Hayachine (1982)

    Sumiko Haneda1981-1990DocumentaryJapan

    Shot in the foothills of Iwate Prefecture’s mystical Mt. Hayachine, the film records a year in the life of the area’s villages and villagers as they prepare for kagura performances, a dance-theater form with origins in religious rituals (now mainly performed for tourists). The film can be enjoyed and processed on many levels: a musicologist’s fascinating glimpse into kagura traditions and performances; an ethnographic portrait of rural life and village hierarchies; and most of all, a study of a key moment in Japanese society, when, even as Haneda filmed, rural lifestyles were exposed to modernity: paved roads, cars, and tv sets. Fittingly, the film’s true beauty comes not through its thesis, but in its attunement to the mountain’s own intricate rhythms. (Pacific Film Archive)Read More »

  • Sumiko Haneda – Usuzumi no sakura AKA The Cherry Tree with Gray Blossoms (1977)

    1971-1980DocumentaryJapanJapanese Female DirectorsSumiko Haneda

    The poignant focal point for this film is a cherry tree that is over 1400 years old. Beginning with the tree, the director then explores the families and environment around the tree. The editing and music contribute to the sense of a haunting past contained within the solid structure of an ancient natural wonder.Read More »

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