The idea of filming KarÅshi shaped up while on assignment in Tokyo. We knew right away that we were onto a very powerful message.
In Japan, people die typing on their computers at their offices, because of overwork. They have a word for it: KarÅshi. It literally means ‘death from overwork’.
Three voices from Japanese workers recount their hard-to-believe realities of their jobs in Tokyo, while the Super8 film rolls through trains and streets revealing a problem which feels like a distant blurred dream. But the reality is a nightmare of pandemic proportions.
KarÅshi revolves around one of our greatest conflicts as societies, that is, how far would we go to give up our lives in order to earn money. KarÅshi is a manifesto, an urge to reflect on how we have come to normalize such incredible work behaviours.
We are right now confined in a historical crossroads as a species, with plenty of time to contemplate ourselves deeply, and the precious opportunity to shift gears and move forward in a very different way.
Film by Juan and Arturo Herrero
Sound Design by Luis Ortega
Premiered in Nowness Picks