New York, 1971. Following his celebrated days as one of the most revered photojournalists of World War II, W. Eugene Smith has become a recluse, disconnected from society and his career. But a secret commission from Life magazine editor Robert Hayes sends him to the Japanese coastal city of Minamata, which has been ravaged by mercury poisoning; the result of decades of gross industrial negligence by the country’s Chisso Corporation. There, Smith immerses himself in the community, documenting their efforts to live with Minamata Disease and their passionate campaign to achieve recognition from Chisso and the Japanese government. Armed with only his trusted camera, Smith’s images from the toxic village give the disaster a heartbreaking human dimension, and his initial assignment turns into a life-changing experience.
Starring Johnny Depp, Hiroyuki Sanada, Minami, Jun Kunimura, Ryo Kase, Tadanobu Asano and Bill Nighy, the film is coming soon, with UK and U.S. distribution plans to be announced.