Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival

Programme (2020)

A Step Forward (2020)

In A Step Forward, director Kasezawa follows Pastor Yoichi Fujiyabu who runs a church in a rather peculiar spot of the Wakayama prefecture, Western Japan. The Sandanbeki cliff is indeed a very popular place, for all the right and wrong reasons. With its beautiful and dramatic scenery, the 2km long 50m high rock is in fact not only a renown sightseeing location but also – sadly – a popular suicide spot.

A solitary billboard on the edge of the cliff, with a bold red telephone number on, urges the possible suicidal souls to think twice and “please call before making the final decision”. On the other side of the telephone line is pastor Fujiyabu. Dynamic, laid-back and hands-on, Fujiyabu has already rescued (at the time of filming) more than 900 people.

Fujiyabu’s work has saved many lives stopping a desperate action but rehabilitation is the first priority here. His employment program for the recovering guests is what really makes the difference. In his words, the place should be a stepping-stone for those wanting to earn a bit and be independent.

Adriana Rosati, Asian Movie Pulse

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Film Title : A Step Forward
Language : japani
Director : Atsushi Kasezawa
Year : 2018
Length : 100
Age limit : K7
Format : DCP
Cinematographer : Atsushi Kasezawa
Editing : Atsushi Kasezawa
Producer : Akiko Tabakotani
Production Company : Documentary Japan, Inc.
Title in Original Language : Bokushi To Inochi No Jake

Screenings :
Tue 28.1. at 19.15, Kinopalatsi 8, followed by a Q&A with director Atsushi Kasezawa
Fri 31.1. at 15.00, Kinopalatsi 6, followed by a Q&A with director Atsushi Kasezawa
Sat 1.2. at 13.15, Kinopalatsi 6