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Mar. 13, 2020United Kingdom, United States, United Arab Emirates115 Min.R
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Movie Synopsis & Review

“Tomoko In Her Bath” by William Eugene Smith is considered one of the most famous photographs of all time. It shows the naked body of a young girl, the empty gaze directed upwards, the ribs protruding, the limbs deformed. Her mother holds her in a bath tub in her arms. Tomoko became a nursing case as a result of what is known as Minamata’s disease. In his second feature film, ” Minamata “, director Andrew Levitas (“Lullaby”) tells the genesis of this moving photo and brings its creator into the spotlight. However, Levitas does not really want to choose between character study and political pamphlet. In 1971, W. Eugene Smith ( Johnny Depp) a nervous wreck. The famous photo reporter lives in his darkened New York apartment. Alcohol is his constant companion, at night the disturbing images of his earlier work during the Second World War keep him awake. He was persuaded to travel to Japan by the translator Aileen ( Minami ) and Robert Hayes ( Bill Nighy ), editor of Life Magazine. In the village of Minamata, the residents are suffering from the consequences of devastating mercury poisoning. Smith uncovered a political scandal and took to the field against the unscrupulous Chisso group …

First of all, you have to give Andrew Levitas high credit for not having to resort to classic biopic set pieces. Everything that you need to know about the protagonist is established after the first half hour, so not every stage in life has to be retold. “Minamata” is rather a snapshot of a driven, broken man. The dimly lit pictures and the sudden shreds of memories of the war experiences let you look deeply and haunted into Smith’s soul.

As the main actor, Johnny Depp has to fight his way through a true passion play! Not just on a physical level, but on a religious level. On the photographer’s door there is a note stuck on which one can read that one should only disturb him if one can announce the new arrival of the Savior. At first a nice gag, until suddenly you realize with astonishment that the film with the Savior is actually referring to its main character.

Original title Minamata
IMDb Rating 7.6 861 votes
TMDb Rating 7.7 3 votes



Johnny Depp isW. Eugene Smith
W. Eugene Smith
Minami isAileen
Hiroyuki Sanada isMitsuo Yamazaki
Mitsuo Yamazaki
Bill Nighy isRobert
Robert "Bob" Hayes
Jun Kunimura isJunichi Nojima
Junichi Nojima
Ryô Kase isKiyoshi
Tadanobu Asano isTatsuo Matsumura
Tatsuo Matsumura
Akiko Iwase isMasako Matsumura
Masako Matsumura

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