Committing to peace when it was the most dangerous act of all
Sneak Preview Screening: "STAR SAND (Hoshizuna Monogatari)"
followed by a Q&A with director Roger Pulvers, stars Shinnosuke Mitsushima and Lisa Oda*
*additional star will be joining the Q&A session
Monday, April 10 at 7:00 pm
In Japanese/English with English subtitles
Japan, 2017 110 minutes
Directed by: Roger Pulvers
Written by: Roger Pulvers
Produced by: Junko Konishi, Hiromi Yoshioka
Theme music: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Lisa Oda, Brandon McClelland, Shinnosuke Mitsushima, Takahiro Miura,
Riho Yoshioka, Makiko Watanabe, Renji Ishibashi, Mako Midori, Shinobu Terajima
Film courtesy of Hara Office/Soul Age
Roger Pulvers, the dynamic author, playwright, theater director, translator, raconteur and familiar figure at FCCJ now makes an impressive directorial debut with "Star Sand," an Okinawa-set mystery tale with a powerful message about compassion and quiet acts of heroism during wartime.
Based on Pulvers' novel of the same name, published by Kodansha in Japanese in 2015 and by AmazonCrossing in English in 2016, the film features an A-list cast, on-location shooting in Okinawa and a theme song written by Oscar-winner Ryuichi Sakamoto.
"Star Sand" takes place on a remote Okinawan island in April 1945, although it also flashes forward to 1958 and 2016, when early secrets are finally revealed. Hiromi, a 16-year-old girl who is hunting for star sand (a tiny, star-shaped marine animal), comes upon two men in a cave. One is Takayasu, a Japanese deserter (Mitsushima); the other, surprisingly, is an ailing American deserter named Bob (McClelland). Hiromi helps nurse Bob back to health, and the two men - each with so much to lose if they are discovered - pledge never to commit an act of violence again. All is well until Takayasu's brother, a fanatical soldier (Miura), discovers the trio and vows to kill them all. Eventually, three of the four people in the cave will perish; we do not learn their identities until a modern-day university student in Tokyo reads a diary discovered in the cave in 1958, and goes on a quest to uncover the startling truth.
Many viewers will be aware that in April 1945, American forces were attacking Okinawa in what was to be the biggest single battle ever waged in the Pacific Theater. "Star Sand" is a reminder that, even in periods of hatred and brutality, there is also hope.
Please join us for this sneak preview of "Star Sand" ahead of its Japanese release in June.
ROGER PULVERS is an American-born Australian author, playwright, director and translator. During the nearly 50 years he has spent in Japan, he has published more than 50 books in English and Japanese. He has directed plays in Japan and Australia, working with such actors as Kyoko Kishida, Isao Hashizume and Akira Emoto. In film, Pulvers was Nagisa Oshima's assistant on "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence," and co-wrote the script for "Best Wishes for Tomorrow" ("Ashita e no Yuigon"). Among other awards, he has received the Miyazawa Kenji Prize in 2008, the Noma Award for the Translation of Japanese Literature in 2013 and the Inoue Yasushi Prize in 2015.
SHINNOSUKE MITSUSHIMA made his acting debut in 2010 in the play "Les Parents Terribles." In 2012 he won the Hochi Film Newcomers' Award for his role in "11:25: The Day He Chose His Own Fate," about Yukio Mishima, directed by Koji Wakamatsu. In 2016 he acted in Hideki Noda's play "Gekirin," and also garnered acclaims for his role in the film "Over the Fence," directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita.
In addition to his role in "Star Sand," he will appear this year in Takashi Miike's "Blade of the Immortal," Yoshihiro Nakamura's "Mumon" and Hirokazu Kore-eda's "The Third Murder."
LISA ODA has had an active career as a model in magazines and other media since 2012, and in commercials. In 2015 she appeared in Shueisha Bunko's web campaign "Natsuichi" and in 2016, made her memorable screen debut as the young woman who holds the key to solving a grisly crime in "The Top Secret: Murder in Mind," directed by Keishi Ohtomo. In the same year, she appeared as Sena, the pirate girl, in the NHK television drama "Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit."
Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk (3211-3161) or register below. You may attend the Q&A session without attending the screening, but you will not have seating priority. Please reserve in advance, still & TV cameras inclusive. All film screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.
- Karen Severns, Film Committee