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A new documentary about Frida Kahlo by Tadasuke Kotani

13 August 2015

Tadasuke Kotani’s documentary film “Frida Kahlo no Ihin” (“The Legacy of Frida Kahlo”) shows Miyako Ishiuchi shooting photographs of Frida's belongings.

This documentary film is about Hasselblad Foundation International Award winning photographer Miyako Ishiuchi's encounter with iconic Mexican painter Firda Khalo's personal belongings that were uncovered 58 years after her death.

The film shows Ishiuchi shooting photographs of Frida's belongings, Ishiuchi's exhibition at the "Paris Photo," and art exhibition at the Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris featuring Frida's and her husband Diego Rivera's works.

By capturing the production process of Oaxaca's traditional embroideries used for the tribal costume that Frida left, a local festival Day of the dead (Dia de los Muerto), and a Mexican funeral in a small town, Ishiuchi pursues the sign of how Frida lived and depicts the view of life and death in Mexican culture.

Taken from The Japan Times:

Kotani, a 38-year-old director who has been making films since 2002, followed Ishiuchi to Mexico after she was invited by Frida Kahlo’s estate to photograph the late Mexican artist’s things. His documentary is a love letter to two women artists — Kahlo and Ishiuchi — capturing their brief, metaphysical encounter.

“She has always been a great source of inspiration and admiration,” Kotani says of Ishiuchi.

While his love for Kahlo’s works had been “spotty,” he says his love for Ishiuchi’s has always been “consistent and genuine.”

As a young man growing up in Japan, Frida Kahlo’s paintings had been an enigma to Kotani. “Her energy, and the way she could marshal all that concentration to paint herself … it was all a bit scary for me,” he says. “I’m still overwhelmed when I look at her paintings. But in this film, I was able to look at Ishiuchi looking at Kahlo. That filter was very important and a revelation for me — it made me look at Kahlo and her work and life in an entirely different light.”

“The Legacy of Frida Kahlo” reveals Kotani’s reverence not only for Ishiuchi and Kahlo but women in general.

“They bear their scars differently from men,” he says. “They’ve always struck me as being much stronger and having a lot more resilience. They know how to change their pain into energy, whereas most men are really clueless about it.”

Chek out the film website and the trailer at the links below.