Japanese Film Series at Innis Town Hall: March 13, 18, 20, 25

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Japanese Film Series at Innis Town Hall: March 13, 18, 20, 25

Post  JF on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:03 am

A free film series organized in gratitude for the support of the international community after the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Northeast Japan

Tuesday, March 13, 7 pm
Fukushima Hula Girls/Setting Sail from the Ruins
Sunday, March 18, 7 pm
Feature Film
Rock: A Dog’s Island
Tuesday, March 20, 7 pm
Feature Film

Sunday, March 25, 7 pm
Can You See Our Lights?/Light Up Japan

: March 13, 18, 20, 25
Location: Innis Town Hall (all films)
Address: 2 Sussex Ave. (5 minute walk from St. George station)
*please note that this event does not take place at The Japan Foundation , Toronto
Doors open: 6:30 pm
Show time: 7:00 pm
Admission: Free
No reservation required (please arrive early to ensure seating)

One year after the earthquake and tsunami in Northeast Japan , recovery work in the damaged areas is still making slow progress. In many areas, people are still living in temporary housing with no prospect of returning to their normal lives, and many must cope with daily uncertainty and anxiety.

In such situations, however, there are people who keep their hopes up and work positively towards rebuilding. Around the world, The Japan Foundation will be showing documentary films that focus on people who stand up for the recovery of their hometowns, and feature films depicting not only natural disasters, but other hardships that people overcome through cooperation and perseverance. By celebrating the innate strength and warmth of humanity, we hope to reconfirm Japan ’s ability to recover from this disaster.

Tuesday, March 13
Innis Town Hall
7:00 pm (doors open 6:30)

Documentary: Fukushima Hula Girls

Directed by Masaki Kobayashi, 2011, 100”

The town of Iwaki City became world famous after the 2006 feature film Hula Girls depicted the townspeople’s efforts to revive the town’s economy by opening a Hawaii-themed resort, complete with palm trees, hula dancers and flame dancers. On March 11, 2011, Iwaki City was devastated by the tsunami that hit Northeast Japan , and the Spa Resort Hawaiians was converted to a temporary shelter. This film documents the Hula Girls’ promotional tour of Japan , the rebuilding of the resort, and one dancer’s life in the shadow of the damaged nuclear plant.

Documentary: Setting Sail from the Ruins
Produced by NHK, 2011, 30”

The town of Ofunato , Iwate suffered devastating damage in the tsunami. Many boats were washed away, and the fishing industry was nearly destroyed. Kenichiro Yagi and his fellow fishermen, who sell fish online, quickly rose up from the tragedy by resuming fishing in the debris-filled port. This program documents their comeback three months after the disaster.

Sunday, March 18
Innis Town Hall
7:00 pm (doors open 6:30)

Feature Film: Rock: A Dog’s Island

Directed by Isamu Nakae, 2011, 123”

Six and a half hours by boat from Tokyo , the Noyama family runs a guesthouse on Miyakejima, a small volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean . Their son, Shin, is a primary school student who adores his golden retriever puppy, Rock. In August 2000, Miyakejima erupts violently. As the family is forced to evacuate to the mainland, Rock goes missing. Although Shin and his family are eventually reunited with Rock at an animal rescue center, dogs are not allowed at the shelter where they are staying. With the family unable to return to the island, and Rock in poor health, Shin must make a difficult decision.

Tuesday, March 20
Innis Town Hall
7:00 pm (doors open 6:30)

Feature Film: Éclair

Directed by Akio Kondo, 2011, 107”

It is 1943, and the shadow of war is looming, about to change everything for a young orphan named Akio and lead him to a vagrant life. Akio encounters many people in his travels: The Detective who saves him from hunger by giving him his first pastry, the White Satan at the reformatory, a strict foster mother, a kind cinema owner, a traveling theatre company… but the thing that keeps him going throughout is "Sweets & Girls," a song he learns from Yoko, his teacher at the orphanage. No matter what happens to him, thinking about sweets and singing this song give him the will to live...

Éclair was filmed in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, in autumn of 2010. The town was badly damaged by the tsunami shortly after the film opened in theatres, and some local extras and volunteers were injured or killed.

Sunday, March 25
Innis Town Hall
7:00 pm (doors open 6:30)

Documentary: Can You See Our Lights?

Produced by NHK, 2011, 48”

Tohoku’s colourful and passionate summer festivals have histories stretching back centuries. This year, due to the devastation caused by the tsunami, many of these traditional festivals were cancelled. Despite the hardships, Rikuzentakata City decided to hold their Ugoku Tanabata Festival. The organizers repaired damaged floats and drums, and invited scattered residents to join the festival. The documentary also features other festivals like the Kawabiraki (river opening) Festival in Ishinomaki, Miyagi; Soma Nomaoi in Minamisoma, Fukushima ; and Hachinohe Sanshataisai in Hachinohe , Aomori . Experience the feelings, hopes and passions of people in the region during the festival season.

Documentary: Light Up Nippon
Produced by NHK Japan Foundation , 2011, 28”

Like many countries, Japan celebrates special occasions with fireworks, but it also has long held the belief that fireworks repose the spirits of the deceased and ward off bad luck. When Yoshitake Takada heard that fireworks events had been cancelled throughout Tokyo after the earthquake, he went to the fireworks manufacturers. “What about bringing the fireworks not used in Tokyo to Tohoku?” he wondered. Thus Light Up Nippon, a project aiming to launch fireworks simultaneously in 10 disaster-stricken areas, was born. This documentary follows the entire process from the start through to August 11, 2011, when fireworks filled the skies.

Image copyright: ©FUKUSHIMA HULA GIRLS PRODUCTION Committee, ©2011 FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK,TOHO,FNS, ©Eclair Production Committee, ©NHK


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