Archive of films Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor / Franz Kafka's Inaka isya

2007, 21 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2007

This remarkable animated film, which famed Oscar-nominated Japanese filmmaker Koji Yamamura based on the tale by Franz Kafka A Country Doctor, uses undulating surrealist images to describe a doctor’s strange nocturnal visit to examine a young patient.


The tale entitled “A Country Doctor”, which Franz Kafka wrote in 1918, came out in the book Short Stories about My Father. As in the author’s novels, here, too, we have the Kafkaesque themes of alienation and futility, as well as elements of absurd humour, which Yamamura underscores through his undulating surrealist animation. An eccentric country doctor is breathlessly describing a visit he paid to a sick boy during the night, transported to his bedside by supernatural horses. The doctor, absorbed by his own problems and full of malevolence towards people who ask the impossible of him, initially cannot find the cause of the boy’s illness. Even when he does finally discover what is wrong with him, the villagers humiliate him and the old doctor is condemned to roam aimlessly through the dark and frosty night.

About the director

Koji Yamamura (b. 1964, Japan), director, animator, screenwriter, cameraman and film editor, graduated from Tokyo Zokei University and, in 1993, established the company  Yamamura Animation, Inc. with his wife Sanae. His animated films are shown all over the world and have brought him a series of prestigious awards. Selection: Aquatic (Suisei, 1987), Japanese-English Pictionary (Hyakka zukan,1989), Kipling Jr. (1995), Bavel’s Book (Bavel no hon, 1996), Your Choice? (Docchini suru?, 1999), The Old Crocodile (Toshi wo totta wani, 2005) and Mt. Head (Atama-yama, 2002), which was nominated for an Oscar in the category Best Animated Short and won the Grand Prix in Annecy in 2003.


Shochiku Co., Ltd.
4-1-1 Tsukiji, Togeki Bldg. 12th Floor, Chuo-Ku, 104 8422, Tokyo
Tel: +81 355 501 623
Fax: +81 355 501 654

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Koji Yamamura
Screenplay: Koji Yamamura
Dir. of Photography: Koji Yamamura
Music: Hitomi Shimizu
Editor: Koji Yamamura
Producer: Mariko Seto, Fumi Teranishi
Production: Yamamura Animation, Inc.
Contact: Shochiku Co., Ltd.


Junko Kawaguchi


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