June 2022

Join the Film Committee

© 2022 BROKEN COMMANDMENT Film Partners

Join us on Tuesday, June 28 at 6:00 pm for Kazuo Maeda’s moving new adaptation of Toson Shimazaki’s classic 1906 novel, “Hakai” (The Broken Commandment). Set against the backdrop of the Russo-Japanese War, Broken Commandment tells the story of Ushimatsu Segawa (Shotaro Mamiya), a compassionate rural schoolteacher who is living a lie that extracts a heavy toll on his soul. Ushimatsu promised his father to never reveal his roots in the discriminated-against Burakumin underclass, as he would be labeled a social outcast. It’s a secret that has allowed him to become educated and avoid social rejection, but it has also brought him private agony. Ushimatsu struggles to confess the truth to those closest to him, but in the age of nationalism at the end of the Meiji period, with constitutional reform, revision of the Imperial Rescript on Education, and the rise of militarism, his courage is tested. The new adaptation has been mounted to mark the centenary of Zenkoku Suiheisha’s Founding Congress declaration. Japan’s first-ever human rights declaration, it argued that Burakumin, Zainichi Koreans, Ainu and other “disadvantaged minorities” deserved the same respect and freedoms accorded others. Maeda and Mamiya will attend the Q&A session. (Broken Commandment, Japan, 2022, 119 minutes, in Japanese with English subtitles).

Karen Severns is chair of the FCCJ Film Committee