AFC: What do you mean, you never know?

By Gérard de Battista

May 1985, filming Level Five on Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost island. Extremely small team : Marker and me, him with a Walkman-style tape recorder modified by Antoine Bonfanti, and me with an Arri 16 SR, a Zeiss 11-110mm zoom lens, a backpack containing a magazine, film, and changing bag.

It was the fortieth anniversary of the American landing on the island and the battle that followed. The film talks about the war in general and we filmed the different battlefields, ceremonies, families visiting the battlefields and cemeteries (there were many deaths at Okinawa, American and Japanese soldiers and civilians killed in the bombings, or collective suicides by entire families…). We generally managed to get around using taxi drivers who spoke English, and so filming was both discreet and mobile. …

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