NINJA & SOLDIER

2012 / 10 min

SYNOPSIS

Two 8-year old boys are having a conversation. Ken, born in Japan, is dressed in a ninja costume. Nito, born in Congo, Africa, is a child soldier.  Nito was forced to kill his own mother, ordered by a soldier. Boys start speaking about "differences" between themselves.

Director's Statement

When one becomes conscious of a difference between others and themselves in a negative way, discrimination begins. This leads to hostility towards each other, progressing into a war which people kill each other. A child soldier problem happening in Congo is not some unrelated issue happening far away in Africa.  It is actually a problem about ourselves. I hope this film provides an opportunity for viewers to become aware about child soldiers, to raise its awareness between Japanese people. I wish for teenagers to view this work as well, an age group which interpersonal problem such as bullying can easily turn into a tragedy.

This work was screened at Generation14plus division in the Berlin film festival.  Generation14plus is a division for a young generation aged 14 to 17. This film stimulated many questions immediately after its showing there.  After Berlin film festival, it has been shown at symposiums sponsored by an NPO that works on social rehabilitation of African ex-child soldiers.  Inquiries regarding child soldier and human consciousness of "difference" that manifests this problem were raised during its Q&A session.  Also, some have independently organized its viewing as a part of a training program for planning corporate social contribution.  All viewers have a common feedback: "I would like more people to see this production".

Staff

Director : Isamu Hirabayashi 
Produce : Yasuo Fukuro 
Drawing & Animation : Isamu Hirabayashi 
Photographer : Ani Watanabe 
Graphic Artist : Katsuya Terada 
Art Director : Ken Murakami 
Animation Assistant : Mina Yonezawa 
Voice : Reigo Mizoguchi 
Voice : Shion Noda 
Composer : Takashi Watanabe 
Assistant Composer : Kina Kuriwaki 
Clarinet Ensemble : Hidenao Aoyama 
Clarinet Ensemble : Shizuka Omata 
Clarinet Ensemble : Toshiyuki Muranishi 
Clarinet Ensemble : Terumichi Aoyama 
Sound Design : Keitaro Iijima 
Foley : Yu Arisawa 
Foley : Momoko Iijima 
Sound Studio : Kobe Institute of Computing-College of Computing 
Distributor : Tamaki Okamoto (CaRTe bLaNChe)

Film Festival

Berlin International Film Festival Generation 14plus (Germany) 
Giffoni Film Festival (Itary) 
BUSTER Copenhagen International Film Festival for Children and Youth (Denmark) 
Sakhalin International Film Festival (Russia) 
Image Forum Festival 2013 (Japan) 
Kinder Film Fest Kyoto (Japan)