Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival

Programme (2020)

Tenzo (2020)

To address the social crisis, two Buddhist monks throw themselves into various tasks from a suicide helpline to construction work.

The basic content of the film is very simple: Chiken, a Buddhist monk, attempts to live his life in a useful way. He mans a telephone support service for the suicidal, among other activities. His old friend Ryûgyô, also a monk, lives in Fukushima, and works on construction sites as the city attempts the long job of rebuilding after the 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear power plant disaster. Everything hangs together; it all makes perfect sense, and Chiken and Ryûgyô’s down-to-earth takes on how we think about thinking are less abstract philosophy than they are applied psychology.

The reconstruction of Fukushima provides a bittersweet counterpoint, highlighting the fragility of human effort in the face of unforeseen shocks to shared infrastructures. The political issue of the potential toxicity of modern environments is made personal via an emotive narrative about childhood allergies.

Catherine Bray, Sight & Sound

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Film Title : Tenzo
Language : japani
Director : Katsuya Tomita
Year : 2019
Length : 61
Age limit : S
Format : DCP
Cinematographer : Takuma Furuya, Masahiro Mukôyama
Editing : Takuma Furuya, Katsuya Tomita
Music : Ubaguchi Takeno Kai, Suri Yamuhi And The Babylon Band, Norikiyo
Producer : Ryugyo Kurashima
Production Company : All-Japan Soto Young Priests Association

Screenings :
Tue 28.1. at 17.15, Kinopalatsi 6
Sat 1.2. at 15.30, Kinopalatsi 6
Sun 2.2. at 17.15, Maxim 2