Close Up

14 November 2021: The Duckling + Thus A Noise Speaks


The Duckling 
Sayaka Ono, 2005, 75 min
Japanese with English subtitles

A work that epitomises self-documentary as a platform to address secrets and taboos, The Duckling is director Sayaka Ono’s bid to understand her past and where her deep-seated feelings of unhappiness stem from. Tracing her sadness and fear of abandonment back to her parents’ decision to send her to boarding school at the age of five, Ono confronts family members to reveal discomfiting truths in an attempt to understand the insecurities and loneliness that have affected her relationships with them. Densely intimate and fearlessly exposing, The Duckling – fittingly made with Kazuo Hara as executive producer – sees Ono seek to excavate her personal demons as well as her psychological make-up, asking where her family ends and she begins.

Thus a Noise Speaks
Kaori Oda, 2010, 35 min
Japanese with English subtitles

A family dinner shifts from celebration to discomfort when director Kaori Oda reveals that she is a lesbian. But the dinner is a recreation of the real event two weeks after the fact and the director has re-staged it to force her family members to consider their responses and the dynamics at play.

Screening as part of our Cinema of the Self: Personal Documentary in Japan programme and Japan 2020: Over 100 years of Japanese Cinema, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.