|New adventure: Japanese actresses Matsuzaka Keiko and Kuramura Reiko filmed as protagonists Misao and her mother in the film Blowing in the Wind of Viet Nam. — Photo coutersy of filmcrew
HA NOI (VNS) — The first film produced by Viet Nam and Japan will be launched nationwide in October.
The film entitled Hoa Cung Lan Gio Viet (Blowing in the Winds of Viet Nam) is based on a non-fiction book, A Granny from Echigo, Japan Comes to Live in Viet Nam by Miyuki Komatsu, who currently lives and teaches Japanese in Ha Noi.
Komatsu came to Viet Nam when she was 40 years old. During her 20 years living and working in the city she often thought of her mother living alone in Japan.
After her mother visited Ha Noi, she decided to live in the city with her daughter.
"I expected my mother to stay in Ha Noi for a year. However, we lived together here for about ten years," said Komatsu. Her mother passed away about one year ago in the city.
The protagonist, Misao lives in Viet Nam teaching Japanese and working at the Voice of Viet Nam Radio. Her mother, Shizue, was born in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, and had lived a very tough life.
Misao receives a phone call from Japan informing her of her father's passing. She returns to Japan for the funeral and sees her mother for the first time in years.
She finds her mother struggling to cope and not comprehending her husband's death. Misao decides to bring her mother to Viet Nam to spend her remaining days.
For Misao, Viet Nam is a special country as she was heavily involved in the anti-war movement during her college days in Japan.
Misao was played by Japanese actress Matsuzaka Keiko, one of the leading actors in the Japanese film industry.
She visited Viet Nam three times before film was shot.
"Speaking Vietnamese was the most challenging thing about the film," said the actress at the films launch recently at Ha Noi's National Film Centre.
In the film, she pronounces Vietnamese fluently and rides motorcycles well as if she was born in Viet Nam.
On arriving in Ha Noi, the actress was stunned by the traffic and how people rode motorcycles in crowded streets.
"The producers and director told me that I should enjoy life in Viet Nam. I want to thank the Vietnamese film crew who really helped me during shooting," she said.
"This is the first time I've seen film and I see that Vietnamese people care about each other a lot. I could tell the audiences enjoyed the film at the launch".
The film is directed by Ohmori Kazuki who has about 30 years experience in the Japanese film industry.
"It's tough to portray accurately the realities of caring for an elder on film," the director said. "I was worried about film making technology in Viet Nam before I came here. But it was fine," he said.
"I can't believe the film was made in just a year. We finished earlier than expected, which shows the benefits of co-operation between Viet Nam and Japan".
The film score is a highlight featuring Japanese music from the Meiji dynasty in the 19th century to contemporary music.
The film was produced by Japanese Ueda Yoshiaki, Okada Yutaka and Vietnamese Nguyen Hoai Oanh and Dang Tat Binh. It features Japanese Kuramura Reiko, Eiji Okuda and Vietnamese Tran Nhuong, Lan Huong and Diem Loc.
The film will be screened on September 26 in the homeland of Miyuki Komatsu in Niigata Prefecture in four weeks at seven cinemas. It will be shown at cities including Tokyo from October 17. — VNS