A short film about “cutting”
Kosuke Okahara, a 31-year old, Japanese photographer made a short film, Ibasyo, in which he explores the lives of young women who injure themselves via cutting. Okahara provides an intense portrayal of the lives of the young women in his film. He addresses how they live, their loneliness and their anxiety. He traces the root of the problem of the women in his film to histories of abuse and rape and living in what he terms a “culture of shame”. He describes how a young woman who overdosed on pills contacted him and he rushed to her apartment and called an ambulance much to her protest. Okahara comforted the woman by telling her that he would pay and in his voice talks about the “ethics of being a photographer” and the “ethics of being human”. Clearly, Okahara saw his role to help this young woman as his duty and obligation.
The film was made available through the Asia Society in 2012 and I found it through Aeon Magazine on October 16, 2014.
Okahara’s film, Ibasyo, is a portrayal of the person turned against themselves to deal with insurmountable internal pain. For people who work with individuals who self-injure or are family members or friends of a person who struggles with personal pain in this manner, this film tells the story at a most intimate level.