For those of us who have no memory of Minamata and have buried tragedies like that of Bhopal, the latest feature film starring Johnny Depp under the rubble of memory, we are tasked with weighing the importance of the critical gaze of the photojournalist in the context of a present crammed with visual stimuli. Perhaps the way that Andrew Levitas chooses to raise the subject is not the most appropriate, or that as spectators we cannot escape the temptation to establish forced parallels? between the vital moment of the protagonist of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and the character he plays.
But, although awkwardly, ‘The Minamata Photographer’ manages to raise interesting questions about journalistic commitment and the ethics of images, as Roland Joffé did before in ‘The Screams of Silence’ or Elie Chouraqui in ‘Harrison’s Flowers ‘. The shock and assimilation of a strange culture in which the feudal tradition is still noticeable mark the first two thirds of a film that blindly feels its limits in search of the thread of the story to end in the most accommodating way / exciting possible, with the recreation of the famous bath snapshot of Tomoko and her mother.
The Minamata Photographer
United Kingdom. 2020. 115 m. (TP). Drama.
Johnny Depp, Bill Nighy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano.