"Brakeless" (PBS, Monday). Kiyoko Miyake's oddly beautiful, philosophical documentary about the 2005 crash of a commuter train: Traveling too fast into a curve as the driver tried to stay on a schedule reckoned in seconds, the train derailed and ran into the side of an apartment building; 107 people died. A mix of historical reportage, social criticism and personal struggle -- Miyake sits with the survivors and the bereaved -- it is also a film full of soft light and pastel colors, with almost whimsical animations and graphics, as if to say at once that everything is all right and everything is all wrong. It's on the one hand a portrait of a society ruled by speed, garroted by contracting timetables, organized by bullying from above and fear from below; but it's also a picture of people who choose to live outside that system, to criticize "the Japanese disease," as the Japanese call it. Indeed, one of the things "Brakeless" teaches, as we can never be taught too much, is that we know less than we think we do about how other people live. (At the same time, a world in which time, being money, becomes a luxury -- sometimes deemed an unaffordable luxury -- will be familiar as well to American salarymen and salarywomen.) Memories of the fatal moment have an arresting specificity ("I was listening to Led Zeppelin," "I was wearing a dark blue suit and slingback stilettos") and at times a kind of poetry: "I could see the houses sliding away until only blue sky was left," "I bounced around the carriage like a ball inside a washing machine." One survivor's post-crash account has the shape of a fairy tale: "I thought that if I had a lasting, scar," one young woman remembers, "I would never forget the accident. After the accident, a pin was put in my shoulder. When the doctors wanted to remove it, I refused. After seven years I finally felt ready to take it out. But by then the pin had become grafted to my bones. So, I am still carrying the pin inside me, just as I wished."