FilMart: Johnny Depp to Reveal U.S. Photographer’s Japanese Redemption in ‘Minamata’

  • Variety
The sleepy Japanese town of Minamata was the scene of one of the world’s greatest environmental disasters when it was poisoned by mercury in the 1970s. It was also the setting for a groundbreaking international treaty designed to control use of the deadly metal.

U.K. sales agent HanWay Films will use its platform at FilMart to unveil updates on “Minamata,” its drama-thriller about the celebrated photographer W. Eugene Smith. His images from the toxic town gave the eco-disaster a heartbreaking human dimension, and put reckless big business on front pages around the world.

Johnny Depp stars as Smith, a colorful character who was a celebrated WWII photographer and later became close to jazz great Thelonious Monk. Smith ventured to Minamata near the end of his life, accompanied by his Japanese wife Aileen Mioko Smith.

“At that point, Gene [Smith] was about to give up. He wasn’t sure it was worth it,
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