A fragment of an interview with the Japanese born film director: Yoshihiko Matsui:
Your second film, Pig-Chicken Suicide (Tongkeig shinjyw, 1981), has a great title. Where did you get it from, and how does it relate to the film?
Thank you very much. The title came from my focus on people who are discriminated against. I used "chicken" as a metaphor for infancy and "pig" for adolescence, or emergence into adulthood. I used this chicken and pig metaphor to refer to creatures who are given discriminatory treatment as an analogy to an individual's unfulfilled existence after having progressed from infancy of adulthood.
A lot of your films focus on taboo subjects, like the status of zainichi Koreans in Japan, and also the Emperor's war responsibility. Your films are like the dark underside of the Bubble Economy years. Were there any other directors tackling these sorts of issues at the time, and what kind of reaction did you get to your films?
Certainly, Korean-Japanese people have appeared in most of my movies. The reason for this is that I have many Korean-Japanese friends from when I was a child, so this is something very ordinary for me. I have no prejudice towards them, and my portrayal of them is something natural and spontaneous. Pig-Chicken Suicide is the only movie in which I've talked about the Emperor. The audiences are free to think that I am talking about the Emperor's war responsibility, but this wasn't my intention.
You're quite free to think that zainichi and the Emperor are taboos in Japan if you want, but I believe fundamentally that there aren't any taboos in our world. This is especially true for people who engage in creative expression and present their works freely to the public, and this is the importance of our existence for us. I just make movies about what I am honestly thinking or feeling.
I made Pig-Chicken Suicide based on these thoughts. That is, that all humans are the same: the Emperor, zainichi and Japanese citizens are all equally human beings, and there are no class distinctions between them. There may be difference in races, religions, skin color and eye color, but fundamentally they are all humankind. This is the point I focused on especially when I made this movie.
The answer for "Were there any directors like me?" is that I think so, but they may have a different way of expressing their feelings or ideas. As to the reaction, well, my movies always cause strong arguments between those for and against.
is an activist artist from Moldova. He has been arrested a number of times by the country's police during his street performances. He has protested, using very creative forms of expression, against the corruption of the police and of the government, the infringement of human rights and of the free speech in Moldova. He is free now. This blog is dedicated to him.