Private Project


The sparse and self-sufficient life of Japan’s Miyama mountains, captured between rainy season and first snow. Remote and tranquil: a place that time forgot - and yet, even here, a sense of unease... The world is changing and there can be no escape, only adaptation.
There’s probably no other citizen of Gelsenkirchen who has ever mastered Nō singing and playing the Shakuhachi flute as authentically as Uwe Walter. He has lived in the mountain village of Miyama north of Kyoto for three decades and emulates the local residents, whether they earn their living on the fields, breeding cattle or hunting. People tend their gardens, repair fences to keep away the macaques and grow their own rice. Uwe has become perfectly Japanese, at one with his environment.
However well-suited his Ruhr area wit makes him as a figure of identification, the camera keeps a respectful distance, more reserved than Uwe himself. Only at one point does it come touchingly close: When he is forced to say goodbye to an essential part of his past in the interest of the village community. But the real subject of this film is not the German with his greyish blonde curls but rather that very community, portrayed by Rainer Komers in bittersweet polyphony. It emerges in the children’s games, the adults’ pursuits and the old people’s tales, in the summer downpours of the rainy season, the white moon over the nocturnal village and the blood- red leaves of autumn.

MIYAMA, KYOTO PREFECTURE is the sequel to Rainer Komers’ ARTE Documentary prize-winning film, BARSTOW, CALIFORNIA (2018)

  • Rainer Komers
  • Rainer Komers
  • Uwe Walter
  • Rainer Komers
  • Uwe Walter
    Key Cast
  • Hiroko Inoue
    Collaboration & Assistance
  • Michel Klöfkorn
    Sound Recordists
  • Oscar Stiebitz
    Sound Recordists
  • Jonathan Schorr
    Sound Mix
  • Till Beckmann
  • Caroline Kirberg
    Production Manager
  • Doris Hepp
    Comissioning Editor
  • Gregor Bartsch
    Editor & Co-author
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 36 minutes 29 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 31, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    160,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    German, Japanese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • DOK Leipzig
    October 20, 2022
    World Premiere
    German Competition
  • Duisburg Documentary Film Festival
    November 12, 2022
    German Premiere
  • BIG SKY Documentary Film Festival
    Missoula, Montana
    United States
    February 19, 2023
    North American Premiere
  • Punto de Vista
    Pamplona, Navarra
    March 28, 2023
    International Premiere
Distribution Information
  • RFF – Real Fiction Filmverleih e.K.
    Country: Germany
    Rights: Theatrical
Director Biography - Rainer Komers

Film studies at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, master student. Documentaries made in Alaska, California, Germany, India, Japan, Latvia, Montana, Yemen. Prize of German Film Critics (1980), German Short Film Award (2004), Ruhr Prize for Art and Science (2006), Masterclass IDF / Prague (2012), Videonale.scope Retrospective / Cologne (2014); Iasi-Installation 2015; Villa Kamogawa Residency / Kyoto (2015); Retrospective Oberhausen Short Film Festival (2022). Festival-screenings in 35 countries; awards in Canada, France, Germany, Poland and USA. Director, cinematographer, Word art, poetry. Lives in Berlin and Mülheim an der Ruhr.

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Director Statement

In 1999, with the film "B 224", I began a series of short and medium-length films that explore a territory by means of a collage of locations, dispensing with over voice and dialogues and instead, in the style of 'musique concrète', composing the sounds generated in the scenery without, however, alienating them.
With the film "Barstow, California" I tried for the first time to link the audiovisual depiction of landscape or place with an excerpt of the life story of a protagonist - life & landscape.
In his novel "Berlin Alexanderplatz" from 1927, Döblin already added the city of Berlin as a co-protagonist to his male protagonist and only added the subtitle "The Story of Franz Biberkopf" at the suggestion of the publisher Samuel Fischer.
The previous films in Alaska, India, Japan, Yemen, Montana, Riga and again in Germany show people doing everyday things in a landscape, in a setting. With the German protagonist Uwe Walter a figure from the 'silent' collective is individualized, concretized together with its environment.

Experimental arrangement

The sparse and self-sufficient life in the Japanese mountains, which Uwe, a boy from the Ruhr area, consciously takes upon himself and combines it with the culture (music and theatre) of his host country, raises the question of what a life after consumption, a living together in and with a landscape, its inhabitants and its social constitution in a constantly changing world can look like - a post-postmodern snapshot.