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Minamata

Andrew Levitas | 2020 | 115 MINS
UK/USA/Japan | Some Subtitles
A nearly unrecognizable Johnny Depp plays Life war photographer W. Eugene Smith in this earnest look at his mission to document a pollution-ravaged Japanese community.

In Detail

In documenting what came to be known as Minamata disease, Smith showed the world what toxic chemicals were doing to a community, paving the way for a different kind of war, one of personal political activism carried forward by Andrew Levitas’ impressive look at this high-impact last-act triumph in Smith’s career.

The drama finds him in his declining years, drunk, depressed, impossible to work with – and of course ripe for redemption. By chance, he finds himself befriended by Japanese-American Aileen (Minami Hinase) who alerts him to an environmental atrocity in Japan that he could do something about, if he chose to rouse himself from his grumpy self-indulgent ennui. A forthright, heartfelt “issue picture that may well restore Depp’s reputation.

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