Director focus:

Aya Hanabusa


Born in 1974. Graduate of Jiyu Gakuen. Joined Pole Pole Times Co. Ltd. in 2001. She worked on projects such as Alexei and the Spring (2001) before becoming a freelance filmmaker. In 2010, she made her directional debut with Holy Island, examining the lives of people of Iwai Island, who continue to protest against the construction of the Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant. Holy Island  was honored with the award for Best Documentary  at Sicily Environmental Film Festival. Her second film as director is Tale of a Butcher Shop.


Available from Zakka Films:

Holy Island

Total running time: Approx. 105 minutes. / color

Iwaishima Island, part of Kaminoseki City in Yamaguchi Prefecture. On this island in the Seto Inland Sea, the 500 residents have been living by helping each other and sharing things, since that was what was necessary to live in such a harsh natural environment.

Tale of a Butcher Shop

Total running time: Approx. 108 minutes.. / color

In Kaizuka City, Osaka, the family-run Kitaide butcher shop makes its living by raising and slaughtering cattle, selling the meat. From the moment of tension when the hammer drops on the forehead of the cow, cattle are transformed into meat through practiced movements. This labor, traditionally the work of the Burakumin, the outcastes of feudal Japan, is passed down to the next generation by parents, who hope their children will not encounter discrimination as they have. People live by eating the lives of others. This is a record of a family who looks into the nature of life, every single day.