Tale of a Butcher Shop
Official selection 2013 Busan International Film Festival and 2013 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival
The Kitades run a butcher shop in Kaizuka City outside Osaka, raising and slaughtering cattle to sell the meat in their store. The seventh generation of their family’s business, they are descendants of the buraku people, a social minority held over from the caste system abolished in the 19th century that is still subject to discrimination. As the Kitades are forced to make the difficult decision to shut down their slaughterhouse, the question posed by the film is whether doing this will also result in the deconstruction of the prejudices imposed on them. Though primarily documenting the process of their work with meticulous detail, Aya Hanabusa also touches on the Kitades’ participation in the buraku liberation movement. Hanabusa’s heartfelt portrait expands from the story of an old-fashioned family business competing with corporate supermarkets, toward a subtle and sophisticated critique of social exclusion and the persistence of ancient prejudices.
Japan. 2013. 108 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Aya Hanabusa. Note: Some scenes contain graphic animal imagery.
Part of JAPAN CUTS 2014.
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