|Leading lady: Actress Keiko Matsuzaka, who will play the main role in the first Vietnamese-Japanese film, addresses a press conference in Ha Noi on June 3. — Photo courtesy of the Youth Theatre
HA NOI (VNS) — Shooting of the first Vietnamese-Japanese feature film, based on author Komatsu Miyuki's decision to have her mother spend the rest of her life in Viet Nam, will begin in November.
Shot mostly in Viet Nam, it will be directed by Kabuki Omori and Tat Binh; and will star actress Keiko Matsuzaka.
Miyuki's autobiographical work, Quang Doi Cuoi Cung O Viet Nam (The Remaining Part of Life in Viet Nam), was first published in Japanese and translated into Vietnamese later.
She had come to Viet Nam to teach Japanese, but could not stop thinking about her mother living alone in Japan. After her mother visited Ha Noi, she was convinced to stay on and live here with her daughter.
Kitazato has written the script for the film produced by Japanese Argo Pictures and Yutaka Otaka.
After reading the script, he felt "it is a moving story about elderly people", director Tat Binh said at a press conference in Ha Noi last week.
Kitazato said he read many historical and political books about Viet Nam, but was stuck until he read five Vietnamese novels that helped him understand the "humanity and deep sentiments" of the Vietnamese people.
Director Omori said the script had enhanced his understanding of Viet Nam, a country that he had known about mainly through newspaper reports of the wars it had to fight.
Omori, who has 30 years of experience in making films in Japan as well as other countries like the Philippines and India, said, "I will try my best to make a valuable movie that will promote relationship between the two countries."
Japanese actress Keiko Matsuzaka, who will play the film's main character, said that she was struck by the traffic in Ha Noi, at the way the people rode motorcycles in crowded streets.
"Director Binh has promised to teach me how to ride a motorcycle. That will be my first work in Ha Noi," she said.
"I read the book by Komatsu. I think the writer made the right decision in taking her mother to live the rest of her life in Ha Noi," the actress said.
Matsuzaka, a well known actress in Japan with prominent roles in films and television serials for over 20 years, will also have to learn Vietnamese to play the role of a Japanese teacher here.
The film is scheduled for release in both countries later this year. — VNS