Documentary Film

Critical Acclaim

Many Japanese feel a vague sense of unease and are wondering how to regain their self-confidence. I believe the key to answering that need is hidden in this film. Japanese have traditionally felt a sense of awe and respect for Nature. For centuries we have carefully preserved the rituals and traditions of the rural areas by living in harmony with the sea and forests, but in recent times that deep sense of connection seems to have become broken. But this film tells us that, if we are able to remember the unique connection we Japanese have always had toward Nature, “there’s still time, everything’s going to be alright.” That’s how I felt when I watched this movie.

Sawako Agawa / Author

Recently I’ve begun an initiative to plant forests in the Himalayan Mountains above 3,800 meters. Many people may wonder if that’s even possible, but I can tell you that with Japanese technology, it is indeed possible. Japanese forest stewards have ably managed the forests that were seen in this film – the Ise Jingu Forest and the nearby Meiji Jingu Forest – to be able to sustain animal life for the next hundred years and beyond. This film made me feel a renewed sense of awe both for our forests, and for our unique Japanese cultural heritage.

Ken Noguchi / Alpinist

The film is directed by a photographer, so one is immediately struck by the incredible beauty of the imagery. But the auditory side of the film left an equally powerful impression. I initially thought the word “between” in the title “In Between Mountains and Oceans” was referring to “rivers,” but now I think I was mistaken. What is positioned between the sea and the mountains is us…and this film makes us ask ourselves, how are we going to approach Nature? I feel this is what the title is really getting us to think about.

Hirotada Ototake /Author