Japan / China, 2007 (MIFF 2008, Documentaries)
Director: Li Ying
“We are committed to rebuilding a proud Japan, where the prime minister can openly worship at Yasukuni.” - Japanese politican
A celebrated but beleaguered documentary, Yasukuni drew a storm of controversy in Japan from ultra-nationalists, who labelled the film anti-Japanese. Chinese filmmaker Li Ying explores the history of the Yasukuni shrine, which enshrines 2.46 million of Japan's war dead, including more than 1000 war criminals. Avoiding the powder keg issue of Japanese politicians honouring the dead at the site, Yasukuni instead tackles the shrine's history and place in Japanese culture.
“I never intended the film to be seen as an attack on Japan. I'm dealing with this issue because it needs to be dealt with.” - filmmaker Li Ying