Soda Kazuhiro - Director
Award-winning filmmaker Soda Kazuhiro’s latest film MENTAL is his second feature-length documentary. It portrays the complex world of an outpatient mental health clinic in Japan, weaving portraits of patients, doctors, staff, volunteers, and home-helpers in his signature “observational” style. The film breaks a major taboo against discussing mental illness in Japanese society, and captures candidly the lives of people coping with suicidal tendencies, poverty, shame, apprehension, and fear of society.
Soda Kazuhiro was born and raised in Japan and has lived in New York since 1993. His first feature documentary CAMPAIGN (2007) was invited to film festivals around the world. A.O. Scott of The New York Times writes of CAMPAIGN that, “it may invite a certain skepticism about democracy, but it will surely restore your faith in cinema vérité.” A shorter version of the film won the prestigious Peabody Award in 2008 and was broadcast in almost 200 countries through such broadcasters as BBC, ZDF/ARTE, CBC, NHK, and PBS, among others.