“Valley of Dolls,” a documentary short by Berlin-based filmmaker Fritz Schumann, profiles Ayano Tsukimi, a 64-year-old resident of the largely-abandoned village of Nagoro. Tsukimi has sewed around 350 life-size dolls to represent the many townsfolk who have died or moved away since more bustling days when a factory sustained hundreds of residents.
I started making the dolls 10 years ago. I didn’t have much to do. I planted seeds, but none of the sprouted. I thought we needed scarecrows, so I made one doll [that looked] like my father. I never thought it would turn into this.