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The Ondekoza 1981

  • December 3, 1981
  • 107 mins
  • Tai Katô
  • Shigeo Nakakura (scenario writer)
  • Japan
  • Japanese
  • Documentary

Japanese director Tai Kato's last film, The Ondekoza is a documentary profiling a Japanese taiko drumming group based in the remote Sado Island, Japan. The film blurs the line between real-life documentary footage of the troupe's training and practice regimes, and staged performances of their varied musical acts, with sets designed by artist Tadanori Yokoo and an additional experimental electronic music score by Toshi Ichiyanagi. Filmed in 1981 but due to largely unknown difficulties with various production companies, the film wasn't released publicly until 1994, nine years after the director's death. Remastered digitally into 4K HD resolution in 2016, to be screened at the Venice Film Festival and Tokyo Filmex Film Festival.

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