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Documentary on disputed island screened at Moscow festival

Moscow, April 4 (Jiji Press)–A documentary movie featuring an island claimed by both Japan and Russia was screened at a documentary film festival in Moscow on Sunday.


“Kounachir” was directed by Vladimir Kozlov, who was born in Belarus in the former Soviet Union and is currently based in France.


The film won high acclaim in France and also met with applause at the festival. It depicts the lives of Russians living on the island, called Kunashiri in Japan, one of the four islands at the center of the two countries’ long-standing territorial dispute.


The 71-minute movie, released in 2019, highlights the complex feelings of the residents toward the territorial row.


A 61-year-old man who watched the film praised the documentary, saying that he believes there are things Japan and Russia can do together to resolve the dispute.


In an online interactive session between Kozlov and the audience, the director said that the dispute is a complex issue that has continued for 76 years.


He said there are three generations of Russian residents who call the island their home and that even if Russia hands over any of the islands to Japan, the issue of how to treat the Russian residents would remain.

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