Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at the age of 41, filmmaker TSUBOTA Yoshifumi pays a visit to his cousin Makoto, who suffers from a pervasive developmental disorder. Since his mother passed away, 61-year-old Makoto lives alone in the house he grew up. What Can You Do About It is a two-and-a-half-year record of the two men who come to understand and befriend each other as they struggle with their illnesses. Perhaps the reason TSUBOTA sought out Makoto, whom he never met before, was to understand his own illness. But his illness is rarely seen on screen, which is mostly filled with his admiring gaze toward Makoto. Naturally, the viewers see Makoto through TSUBOTA’s eyes, regardless of TSUBOTA’s presence within the frame. And since there is no gaze that objectifies people with disabilities, the film is full of humor and affection rather than compassion and awareness. What Can You Do About It begins as a self-documentary and transitions into a buddy film about two men who grow closer together through challenges or into a human drama imbued with peculiar humor. It is a documentary with outstanding directing by the long-time fiction filmmaker TSUBOTA Yoshifumi. (KANG Sowon)
Born in Kanagawa, Japan, he attended Tama Arts University. He won the grand prize at the Image Forum Film Festival for his short film Big Spectacle (2000) when he was in Univ. His 2009 feature debut Miyoko invited at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2009, won the Pesaro Film Festival′s Special Jury Prize and the Fantasporto International Film Festival′s Screenplay Award. His another work is Shelle Collector (2016).