Documentary featurefilm The Legacy of  Frida Kahlo directed by Tadasuke KOTANI

Documentary featurefilm The Legacy of  Frida Kahlo directed by Tadasuke KOTANI

Documentary featurefilm The Legacy of  Frida Kahlo directed by Tadasuke KOTANI

The Legacy of Frida Kahlo

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.

Documentary featurefilm The Legacy of  Frida Kahlo directed by Tadasuke KOTANI

Director's Statement

On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake hit Eastern Japan and caused catastrophic damages around the area. The earthquake and tsunami led to fire and explosions at the nuclear power plants in Fukushima and radiation leaks spreading nuclear contamination.  Nearly one year after the worst post-war natural disaster, which left over 20,000 people dead or missing and the nation still in pain, Miyako Ishiuchi, one of the most renown photographers in Japan, decided to shoot photographs of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's personal belongings.

When I look at thirty years of Ishiuchi's works, the Frida project reminds me of "Mother's."  "Mother's" is a photo collection of personal belongings left by Ishiuchi's own mother and her close-up shots taken a few years before her death. 
Her mother's personal belongings are nothing more than a girdle, lipstick, hair brush, and other daily necessities. As to her motive to create "Mother's," Ishiuchi explained that "I started to take pictures of her personal items because I thought I could throw them away once I captured them." By bringing harmony to such disharmonic products through her photographs, Ishiuchi gives them meaning and freedom.

One of the art books of Frida's paintings I have read contained a picture of her plaster corset, quietly placed on a bed. Frida, suffering from various spinal problems, could never part with corsets for her entire life. You will notice a weathered faded rose drawn on the corset. While lying down on a bed, Frida drew the flower by using a hand mirror. 

In her Frida project, how would Ishiuchi face Frida's personal belongings full of severe pain she suffered, inflicted by repeated surgeries on her body, agonizing aftereffects of failed surgeries, and her disturbed mental state because of her troubled love life? Further, how would Ishiuchi bring harmony to such disharmony? Through this documentary film, I would like to portray Ishiuchi's project until her vision relieved Frida's suffering. For I believe Ishiuchi's photographs, which relieved Frida's pain, will give hope and energy to people in Japan who suffered from the earthquake and everyone in the world who is in pain.

Documentary featurefilm The Legacy of  Frida Kahlo directed by Tadasuke KOTANI


A Japanese photographer.
She first became known with Yokosuka Story in 1977 and Apartment the following year, then won the Fourth Kimura Ihei Prize for photography in 1979 and the Eleventh Shashin no Kai Prize (Photography Association Prize) and Fifteenth Higashigawa Prize for Japanese Artists in 1999. In 2005, she represented Japan at the Venice Biennale,where she showed her work gMotherfs - traces of the future.h In 2008, In 2009, She also received the 50th Mainichi Art Award and was invited to participate in the Third ICP Triennial at the International Center of Photography in New York. In March 2014, she received the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography.

Documentary featurefilm The Legacy of  Frida Kahlo directed by Tadasuke KOTANI


After his graduation from the Visual Arts College of Osaka in 2002, his directorial debut of a feature film, Lullaby (2002), won the second prize at the Kyoto International Student Film & Video Festival. His second feature film, Good Girl (2006), was screened and highly regarded at the Pia Film Festival. His first feature documentary film, Line, was a winner of the Cult Award at the 2009 Torino Film Festival. His second feature documentary, The Cat That Lived a Million Times (2012), was premiered at the Busan International Film Festival. The film was also showcased at numerous international film festivals including the Dubai International Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, and Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema.

Documentary featurefilm The Legacy of  Frida Kahlo directed by Tadasuke KOTANI

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 - July 13, 1954)

She was a Mexican painter.
Perhaps best known for her self-portraits, Kahlo's work is remembered for its "pain and passion", and its intense, vibrant colors. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.


Country: Japan
Language: Japanese Japanese, Spanish, English, French
Release Date: January 2015 (Japan)
Filming Locations: Mexico City Oaxaca, Paris
Runtime: 100 min
Cinematography: Tadasuke KOTANI
Camera Assistance/still photo : Kaori ITO
Sound Record : Kazuaki FUJINO,Teppei ISOBE
Production Assistance : Yayoi MANABE
Film Editing: Takeshi HATA
Sound Design: Takeshi OGAWA
Music: Shinichi ISOHATA
Attorney: Hiroyuki Senda
Assistant Producer : Naho MITSUNARI
Co-Producer: Emi UEYAMA
Producer : Kazuo OSAWA
Production: Nondelaico
patronageassistancehelpF Embassy of the United Mexican States



the person in charge : Emi UEYAMA
TEL : +81-90-6665-1129
E-MAIL : legacyfrida@gmail.com