■Date: January 30, 2010 (Sat)
■Place: Suzaku Campus, Ritsumeikan University
On January 30 (Sat.) an open lecture, "Cinema Education: Humanity and Society Today", was held at the Suzaku Campus. This lecture, organized by this university's Institute of Human Sciences and Research Center for Ars Vivendi, includes both the screening of a film and a lecture/discussion related to its content.
The theme of Series 4, of which this event was the first part, is "In the Midst of Hardship ? Children and Hope ?". In a world which requires us to live with "disability, aging, sickness and differences" , this series looks at what kind of hope there can be in the raising of "children" and in these "children" continuing to live and grow from the perspective of "Ars Vivendi". The film screened at the first event was "Hush!", directed by Ryosuke Hashiguchi and starring Seiichi Tanabe, Kazuya Takahashi and Reiko Kataoka. This film was an official selection of the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and received numerous awards including second place on Kinema Junpo's list of the top ten films of the year and an award of excellence in the feature-film category at the 3rd Bunka-cho (Agency for Cultural Affairs) Film Awards.
Set in present-day Tokyo, through the relationship between a gay couple and a woman who asks them to provide her with sperm this film depicts 竭lonely interpersonal relationships in the living spaces of big cities, 竭｡sexuality in the context of traditional family relationships, and 竭｢issues related to reproduction.
The discussion part of this event consisted of a conversation between the film's director, Ryosuke Hashiguchi, and Kazuya Kawaguchi, a professor at Hiroshima Shudo University. Prof. Kawaguchi discussed "Hush!" in "Queer Studies", a book published in 2003 by Iwanami Shoten, and has often used this film in the courses he teaches at his university. He points out that "one on one relationships between two people, particularly patriarchal heterosexual marital or romantic relationships, are shaken up by the relationship between the three main characters in the film". Mr. Hashiguchi said "I got the idea for this movie from what I saw when I went to Amsterdam to do film production research and from three people I met there who were raising a child together. Later the three were in the process of further expanding their community". The discussion then ended with the two participants talking about gay people raising children and the possibility of choosing through one's own free will a new kind of family or community which differs from the traditional family in which one was raised.
The next "Cinema Education: Humanity and Society Today" event will be held at 13:00 on Saturday, February 27, 2010 at the Suzaku Campus. There will be a screening of "Chokora!" and a discussion between director Shigeru Kobayashi and Tatsuo Hayashi (special visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University and director of the Africa Japan Forum).