Eigasai presents Japanese films

The festival tries to show some of the diversity of the country’s culture

The 12th edition of the Eigasai Film Festival, showcasing Japanese cinema and culture, takes place at kino Lucerna from March 18 to 24. All films in Japanese with English subtitles, except for one in the side program.

This year's festival will present contemporary feature films as well as a documentary, travelogues and an animated film for the whole family. The motto this year is “my place under sun.”

Special events for families with children are focused on Saturday, March 23, where people will be able to participate in calligraphy, origami, and other arts and crafts. There will also be live performances of theater, dance and drumming. Admission to these special events is free. Film tickets are Kč 100 each, and festival passes are available.

The festival opens with the 2017 drama Where I Belong (Bublina / Shabondama), adapted from the bestseller by Nonami Asa. A young swindler from the city winds up in a remote village in the Miyazaki Prefecture, and becomes involved in traditional life, finding friends for the first time.

An influence on the Japanese New Wave, the 1961 film Hogs and Warships (Prasata a válečné lodě / Buta to gunkan) by Imamura Shohei takes a neorealist look at gangs operating near a US Army base in postwar Japan.

The 2016 documentary Oyster Factory (Továrna na ústřice / Kaki kōba) gives an insight into the lives of people resettled after the Fukushima tragedies, as well as a picture of the life of Chinese immigrants in Japan who work on the water.

There is a lighter tone in 2015 film Yoko the Cherry Blossom (Věčné sakury / Yōkō zakura), a humorous yet humane film portrays the rural Japan in the early 1970s. An elderly man is trying to breed a new type of blossom in an effort to promote world peace.

The psychological drama Close – Knit (Propletení / Karera ga honki de amu toki wa), a 2017 film from director Ogigami Naoko, examines transgender issues, with a young girl abandoned by her mother moving in with her uncle and a trans woman.

The 2007 animated family movie Summer Days with Coo (Prázdniny s vodníčkem Kúem / Kappa no Coo to Natsuyasumi) from director Hara Keiichi depicts the troubles and the joys of a family, whose son decided to adopt a little water sprite over the holidays.

Golden Orchestra! (Starci v orchestru / Oke rōjin), from 2016, sees an elderly woman joining an orchestra. After a turn of events a young math teacher takes over as conductor, and finds it is not as easy as it sounded.

This year's festival closing film is A Story of Yonosuke (Dobrák Jonosuke / Yokomichi Yonosuke), from director Okita Shuichi. The 2013 drama has friends reflecting back on their school days and one student in particular.

There are also two travel films in a side program, including one in English called NHK – Cycle Around Japan and one package in Czech only called Zikmund and Hanzelka’s Films from Japan in 1963.

For more information visit www.eigasai.cz or www.facebook.com/events

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