Skip to main content

ANTS, THE

Japan, 2005 (MIFF 2006, Documentaries)

Director: Kaoru Ikeya

ANTS, THE

The Ants won an humanitarian award for Outstanding Documentary at this year's Hong Kong Film Festival.

Waich Okumura is an 80 year-old Japanese man who fought in China's civil war after World War II. The question still remains unanswered: Why did the Japanese join the Chinese conflict between communist and nationalist forces? He has another secret - the ruthless murder of an innocent Chinese under the ruse of ‘recruit training'. In this film, Okumura returns to China where he unravels the mystery of lost soldiers and the shuddering memory of his first killing. During his journey, he meets an old Chinese lady who was kidnapped, raped and confined by Japanese soldiers. From her, he hears a story of human evils - and even forgiveness.

All the more powerful due to Kaoru Ikeya's matter-of-fact and unobtrusive directing style, The Ants shows how, like the worker ants serving their queen, these men sacrificed more than their lives for the Emperor but, when no longer needed, were contemptuously crushed under foot.

D Kaoru Ikeya P Yoko Kwon WS Ren Universe Inc L Japanese, Mandarin, Shanxi w/English Subtitles TD 35mm/2005/101mins

Kaoru Ikeya was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1958. His films include Yan'an: Yellow Soil and the New Reality (1994, doco) and Daughter from Yan'an (2001, doco)

See also...

JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI

"A paean to perfectionism and a crafty bit of food porn." - Hollywood Reporter ... Jiro Ono is the oldest chef in the world to be awarded three Michelin stars, and at 85 remains monomaniacally ... More »

YOKOHAMA MARY

The search for Yokohama Mary, an infamous former prostitute who went missing over a decade ago, becomes a journey through Japan's post-war past. Yokohama Mary was a prostitute in the Japanese ... More »

education of shelby Knox, the

Lubbock, Texas, has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the US. It also has the highest rate of STDs in teenagers. The sex education policy in the schools of this southern, ultra-conservative ... More »

ANGRY MONK:A REFLECTION ON TIBET

Flying in the face of popular clichés of a Shangri-la-like Tibet is the errant monk, Gendun Choephel. In 1934, Choephel rejected his monastic life in search of new lands and challenges where he ... More »

SARAH SILVERMAN: JESUS IS MAGIC

“Sarah Silverman is the most outrageously funny woman alive. If you want proof of that declaratory sentence, see Jesus Is Magic.” - Rolling Stone From behind the scatterbrain Jewish-American ... More »

SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS

“A compelling study of art as a source of transcendence.” - Variety Take Shakespeare's final play The Tempest - that fittingly deals with themes of forgiveness and redemption - and bring it into ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director