Programmed by Maïté Peltier
“The Round” follows Yukio Shige, a retired policeman, who spent the last fifteen years of his life fighting the suicide phenomenon on the cliffs of Tojinbo. This small seaside resort on the North West coast of Japan is famous for the beauty of its sunsets and also for being the second highest rate of suicide in the country. During one of his rounds, Yukio Shige reveals the paradoxical nature of Tojinbo, a tourist town by day and a deadly scene at night.
Yukio Shige surveys the area like he surveys the human pain of his fellow citizens, with the same determination, every day without fail, on the lookout for the slightest lonely figure. This tall, discreet man, cigarette in hand and binoculars strapped to his wrist, commands respect. His presence often takes up the entire frame and the Steadicam becomes one with him, falling in with his heavy, attentive step and his vigilant gaze. Saving humanity in an endless round, observing, standing there, not looking away, taking the time… this is the “body and soul” commitment of a man who’s filmed with the same sensitivity that he inspires and that, implicitly, also reveals the dark side of Japan’s “success” culture and, under the veneer of sumptuous landscapes, the aimlessness and pain of a section of the population. But Yukio keeps watch. “I’ll carry on until the day I can no longer walk.”
Head of Programming for the Filmer le Travail Festival