Directed by Shinsuke Ogawa | 222min | 16mm
This is Ogawa Productions’ other masterpiece, bringing together all the themes Ogawa explored in his oeuvre: farming, state violence, resistance, modernization, and village time. The film masterfully combines the conventions of the science film with Griersonian documentary sequences about ghosts and gods, along with fictional sequences featuring cameos by the likes of butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata (his last performance) and Roman Porno star Junko Miyashita. It is a thoughtful meditation on history and the way it is never quite ‘past’ in village Japan. If Ogawa’s first films and the Sanrizuka Series arc from the self-centered concerns of the student movement to a collective effort at understanding the communal way of life of the village, then the “Magino Village Story” displays a similar arcing movement away from the collective toward the powerful individual expression of Ogawa Shinsuke.