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MoMA presents the North American premiere of Minamata Mandala, Kazuo Hara’s epic portrait of the aging victims of Minamata disease, who for more than 60 years have waged a tortured, heroic battle for recognition and compensation in the Japanese courts after suffering from methyl mercury poisoning caused by the corporate dumping of wastewater in their fishing village as early as the 1930s. A local scandal turned international crisis—traces of mercury still travel the globe, carried in the bodies of whales and tuna, provoking extreme neurological disorders—this legal struggle would be Kafkaesque in its absurdity if not for the prolonged anguish of the Minamata victims and their families as they are forced to confront a Japanese society criminal in its neglect and indifference.
Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art. Special thanks to Hisami Kuroiwa.