“This film is inspired by my experience of witnessing a whale being carved up at Ayukawa Port in Ishinomaki City.*
The whale bigger than myself is hauled from the ocean, and then fishermen carve it up with deftness that evokes ritual; something that was once a whale turns into pieces. There I found myself experiencing what Sartre called ‘existence precedes essence’. It was an overwhelming presence that shook my own essence — a ‘Humongous’ presence. That shock resembles a sensation of imbalance like the nausea felt by the protagonist Roquentin when he saw the tree root. I selected 16mm film for photography in order to ‘imprin’ a film in which one’s own existence shakes and boundaries with awareness and memory, dreams and other people become ambiguous. Film cinematography materially inscribes existence using light. It is possible that the film also captures ‘something’ that we don’t recognize.
The girl and boy protagonists, confronted with an overwhelming presence, are not characters that evolve under special circumstances, they could be each and anyone of us. Overwhelming power that outstrips a person. Japan has experienced many earthquakes and disasters, and now an unknown epidemic flourishes throughout the world. That overwhelming power/presence shakes one’s own essence, and one’s own boundaries become ambiguous. There, the girl stands her own ground and runs off. And she speaks up to the boy. I am depicting that as the first action that I, whose existence has begun to shake, can take.”
* Ishinomaki City was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.