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Documentary - Completed 2014

Through a fatal train crash and its aftermath, "Brakeless" considers fundamental aspects of Japanese society - punctuality and punishment.

    • Year of production
    • 2014
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 80 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Kyoko MIYAKE
    • Producer(s)
    • Rachel WEXLER (Bungalow Town)
    • Synopsis
    • In April 2005, a commuter train crashed into an apartment building in Japan and killed 107 people when a driver tried to catch up with an 80-second delay.
      Piecing together personal accounts of those affected by the train crash, Brakeless looks at a society which does not seem to know when to stop its pursuit of efficiency. It examines the way in which the characteristics that are usually considered the national virtues - punctuality and loyalty to protocol - have become societal impediments and ultimately, dangers to the people of Japan.
      The film revisits the train journey and follows the aftermath through the eyes of the survivors. What happened on the day is examined in light of the historical and economic development in post-war Japan. It is a story about modernisation gone too far and a cautionary tale from a country that is cutting corners in all the wrong places in a prolonged economic stagnation.