Japan Film Festival Los Angeles 2013
@ JFLA Auditorium
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
“Living in Japan” (34min)
Director Shusuke Kaneko shows a day in the life of a teenage girl, interspersed with videos submitted by the general public that represent the things that come to her mind as she moves through her day. The elderly of Yoronjima Island pray for a rich harvest. Children play sports. Women anticipate the birth of their unborn babies. Juxtaposed with these scenes are the images of devastation wrought by one of the greatest natural disasters in modern history. Yet despite the deep scars left by the earthquake and tsunami, the people of Japan seek a return to the traditions and rituals of their daily lives. The aim of the film is to show through the lens of a single day that people in Japan are still living life as they always have, using videos and local music to create poetry of images that speaks to the hearts of people the world over.
Documentary; 35min, 2011
Director: Shusuke Kaneko
“Japanese American History Unknown” (35min)
Japanese Americans have suffered untold racial discrimination and prejudice in their homeland the United States, but their worst suffering began after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the U.S. government reclassified them as enemy aliens and relocated them to internment camps with Executive Order 9066. Soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team volunteered to risk their lives at the Western Front in World War II to prove their American loyalty with their blood. Members of the Military Intelligence Service suffered as they fought in the Pacific, including the homeland of their parents and relatives. Some faced their own brothers, forced to fight by Japan, and many on both sides failed to return home.
©Film Voice/ UTB
Documentary; 35 min, 2012
Director: Junichi Suzuki
“Tokyo AINU” (114min)
The Ainu are an indigenous people of Japan whose homeland is the northern island of Hokkaido. Their history is similar to other indigenous peoples throughout the world -- dispossession, assimilation, marginalization, discrimination, loss of culture, and uncertain survival. After the Second World War, many Ainu left Hokkaido in the hope of leaving their traumatic history behind and finding a new life in large cities, mainly in and around Tokyo. Tokyo Ainu is the first feature-length film documenting the never-before-heard story of these people. The film weaves a tapestry from a wealth of voices, telling a story of how the Ainu Diaspora in Greater Tokyo came together to form a community, and what aspirations have driven them to hold on to Ainu tradition away from their homeland. It is a quiet story of courageous people who continue to be Ainu wherever they are.
Documentary; 114 min, 2011
Director: Hiroshi Moriya
“Little Wing” (100min)
After the terrible disaster in Fukushima, Misaki and her son Yamato have evacuated to Tokyo. Still young, Yamato wants to learn karate to gain strength and confidence, but Misaki won’t let him – even though she used to love karate. One day in Tokyo, she meets Kiryu, a former companion in her own study of the martial art. Kiryu, now the master of a dojo, wants to teach Yamato, but crisis comes to the dojo and Misaki refuses, seeing karate as a negative influence. Amid these continuing troubles, Yamato’s own inner strength begins to influence the adults little by little, and small wonders can happen when he takes flight in spite of his small size.
Drama; 90 min, 2013
Director: Kenji Kurata
Starring: Nahana, Ryunosuke Kawai