Ayako Imamura recently visited Hirakata-shi and gave a lecture about her filmmaking sctivities. She showed film clips from her work with deaf people in the Tohoku region affected by the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami. Deaf people were the last to know about the disaster as it was happening and had difficulties getting important information afterwards. They were also affected psychologically as they had no one they could talk to in sign language. The importance of communication in terms of sharing information, cooperation and emotional support was a major theme in Imamura's lecture. She talked about the ironic situation where able-bodied deaf people could not get adequate information and thus were unable to assist other people. On the other hand there were hearing people in wheelchairs and such that could understand the information but needed help themselves. Hearing and deaf people need to be able to communicate with one another during emergencies and in their normal life activities.
This theme also plays out in Imamura's latest film, 珈琲とエンピツ ("Coffee and Pencil"), about a deaf surfer and coffee shop owner who is not only a master of the waves and java, but in communicating with all kinds of people as well. See details in the links below.
For more photos from the event:
Link to Imamura Lecture Photo Album: https://picasaweb.google.com/112208031958020045910/Imamura
For more information about Imamura's films:
Link to Studio AYA Official website (in Japanese): http://studioaya.com/
Poster borrowed from Seven Theater Website.
Link to "Coffee and Pencil" Official website (in Japanese and English): http://coffee-to-enpitsu.com/
The film is showing daily between now and June 1 at 12:30 and 14:00 at the Seven Theater in Osaka.
Link to Seven Theater website (for film schedule and theater information): http://www.theater-seven.com/2012/movie_coffee-to-enpitsu.html