An interview with Akira Iwamatsu the director of "Ben-Joe", interviewer Milani Perera
"Having worked as an elementary school teacher, Iwamatsu is now seeking answers to significant questions through his films.
The ability to work towards one's dreams is a skill that a good teacher can pass on to their students. Akira Iwamatsu's dream was to become a director, and while working towards that goal, he served as a living example in front of his students, showing them what can happen when one pursues their dreams.
Iwamatsu founded a film company with the aim of making indie films in rural Japan. His first film, ""Happy Ending"" (2022), which had a team primarily composed of amateurs, received a warm reception.
While directing films, he never forgets who the films are intended for and how they impact the audience. Whether standing in front of a classroom or in the director's chair, it is important to Iwamatsu that people are given food for thought that helps them better understand their own lives.
In the film ""Ben-Joe,"" we see the world through the eyes of Saki, a bulimic student. The events lead Saki to seek treatment for her health at a sanatorium, where she becomes part of a grotesque social experiment alongside other women with similar issues.
“My former student developed an eating disorder and entered a facility for treatment. When she recovered from the illness, she still couldn’t get out of there,” said Iwamatsu about the origins.
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