The official Tokyo Olympics film will be released in two parts – one depicting the games from the perspective of the athletes and the other of the staff and volunteers – its award-winning Japanese director Naomi Kawase said on Thursday.
“I would be grateful to see future generations use this film as a textbook, including studying whether our choices were right or wrong,” Kawase said at a Tokyo news conference.
Japanese director Naomi Kawase talks about the official Tokyo Olympics film during a news conference in Tokyo on March 24, 2022, in Tokyo. (Kyodo)
The film, a behind-the-scenes account of events related to last summer’s Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic, will debut “Side:A” on June 3.
“Side B,” which will be released on June 24, will document the postponement of the Tokyo Games by a year due to the outbreak of the virus, as well as controversial developments in the run-up to the sports extravaganza.
Developments included the resignation of Yoshiro Mori as head of the games’ organizing committee due to sexist remarks towards women.
Kawase said she decided to make a two-part film because a film centered solely on the athletes, as is the norm, “wouldn’t make sense as an archive to pass on in the future.” .
The Japanese director also referenced misleading captions in an NHK documentary about the production of her film that aired last December, saying it was “incredible and regrettable that such a misrepresentation was made”.
The captions had incorrectly claimed that a man who took part in a protest against the Olympics had been paid to do so.
“It’s common sense, even among the staff, that opposing opinions are considered and represented in the film,” Kawase said.
Hailing from Nara prefecture in western Japan, Kawase became the youngest filmmaker to win the Camera d’Or award for best debut director at the Cannes Film Festival for her feature debut, ‘Suzaku,’ released in 1997.
She also became the first Japanese woman to be named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador last November in recognition of her film work focusing on the stories of women across generations.
Tokyo Games total cost at 1.45 trillion yen, no additional funds needed
Tokyo Olympic chief ‘proud’ to host matches despite pandemic
FOCUS: From disaster to joy, the Tokyo Olympics spanned the spectrum