Date Showing Showing On 6, 8,9, December
Time Showing Monday 6pm, Wednesday 4pm and Thursday 6pm


MA15+ 1hrs 55mins
drama | 2020, Serbia/UK | English

War photographer W. Eugene Smith travels back to Japan where he documents the devastating effect of mercury poisoning in coastal communities.


Mild themes and coarse language

Andrew Levitas
Original Review
Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
Extracted By
Anne Green
Akiko Iwase, Johnny Depp, Katherine Jenkins, Bill Nighy

Watch The Trailer

Minamata | Official International Trailer | In Cinemas & On Digital 13th August

Storyline (warning: spoilers)

Minamata is a forthright, heartfelt movie, an old-fashioned “issue picture” with a worthwhile

story to tell about how communities can stand up to overweening corporations and how
journalists dedicated to truthful news can help them. Depp plays real-life US photojournalist W
Eugene Smith whose glory days were in the Second World War and the decades following,
working for Life magazine.
The drama finds him in his declining years, drunk, depressed, impossible to work with – and of
course ripe for Hollywood-style redemption. Apparently 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. In the coastal town of
Minamata on Japan’s south-western coast, the Chisso corporation has been dumping mercury
waste into the water, which is poisoning the fish and then the humans who eat them – causing
horrendous disfigurements in men, women and children. Smith barges into the office of his
editor (Bill Nighy) demanding to be sent to cover the story. From there, Smith finds a
community who treat him with respect and politeness, though some are suspicious of a brash
foreigner who may simply make things worse and alienate a powerful employer that could turn
against making any settlement.
Of course, the hard-nosed professional in Smith knows that pictures of sick children, carefully
and tactfully managed, are going to deliver the biggest punch and he became famous for a
picture that heartbroken and intensely private parents were at first reluctant to give him:
Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath, the Pietà-esque black and white photograph of a mother cradling
her sick daughter in a traditional Japanese tub. Director Andrew Levitas gives us a context-free
glimpse of this challenging image at the beginning of the film and builds to its eventful
composition as his emotional finale.

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