The respected Japanese documentary filmmaker Shinsuke Ogawa directed this rough but compassionate look at life among the lowly. Kotobuki is a slum community not far from the Yokohama shipyards, and it's home to a wide variety of dockworkers, alcoholics and indigents who struggle to get by with little or no money. The average lifespan of a Kotobuki resident is a mere 45 years, but despite the grim circumstances of their existence, the people who live there struggle to maintain their dignity and a sense of the joy of being alive. Rarely seen outside Japan since its initial release in 1974, Dokkoi! Ningen Bushi (aka Dokkoi! A Song Of The Bottom -- which the filmmaker meant to be those living on the lowest strata of society) was screened as part of a retrospective of Ogawa's work at the 2008 Sheffield International Documentary Festival.
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