First Look Trailer for ‘The Cats of Gokogu Shrine’ Japanese Doc Film
“Kazuhiro Soda depicts an enchanting, harsh, beautiful world.” Berlinale has debuted a nice festival promo trailer for a cute Japanese documentary film titled The Cats of Gokogu Shrine, the latest work made by Japanese doc filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda. This purely observational doc is about street cats; Soda previously filmed street cats in his doc Peace (2010). An ample community of cats has set up home around the Shinto shrine in Ushimado. Some local residents take care of them, while others are disturbed by their mess. The filmmaker observes their co-existence with kindness, precision and occasional involvement. In this humble little film, the ancient small Gokogu Shrine is the observatory of the complex relationship between people and nature. A chronicle of the inconvenient truth on how even nature doesn’t fit our civilized life. This film is premiering at the 2024 Berlin Film Festival kicking off this month. It looks like a lovely portrait of life in this small town, about all the humans and all the cats together, and how they interact and spend their time.
Festival promo trailer (+ poster) for Kazuhiro Sôda’s doc The Cats of Gokogu Shrine, from YouTube:
Full intro: “Gokogu is a small, ancient Shinto shrine in Ushimado, Japan (Google Maps). Home to dozens of street cats, it is also known as Cat Shrine. Many people visit the shrine for various reasons: some to worship gods, others to enjoy gardening. Some people come to clean the shrine as volunteers while others just stop by on their way to fish Japanese sardinella –– and it is the perfect place for kids to play after school. It is a heaven for cat-loving residents and visitors, too. Gokogu looks peaceful on the surface, but it is also the epicenter of a sensitive issue that divides the local community. Master Soda started rolling his camera to observe and depict the aging, traditional community and its spiritual center Gokogu.” The Cats of Gokogu Shrine, also known as 五香宮の猫 or Gokogu no Neko in Japanese, is directed by Japanese doc producer / filmmaker Kazuhiro Sôda, director of many films including Campaign 1 & 2, Mental, Peace, Theatre 1 & 2, Oyster Factory, The Big House, Inland Sea, and Zero previously. Produced by Kazuhiro Sōda & Kiyoko Kashiwagi. This will premiere at the 2024 Berlin Film Festival. No other release dates are set yet.