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Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 19:00 - 21:30

An enigmatic stranger silently works magic and mischief on a seaside town
Sneak Preview Screening: "The Man from the Sea (Umi wo Kakeru)"
followed by a Q&A with director Koji Fukada and star Dean Fujioka

Wednesday, May 23, at 7:00 pmThe Man from the Sea 356p
In Indonesian, English and Japanese with English subtitles
France, Japan, Indonesia 2018 107 minutes

Directed by: Koji Fukada
Written by: Koji Fukada
Produced by: Naoko Komuro and Yoshi Kino
Starring: Dean Fujioka, Taiga, Junko Abe,
Adipati Dolken, Sekar Sari, Mayu Tsuruta

Film courtesy of Tokyo Theatres

Evoking both the splendor and the wrath of nature, infused with a palpable sense of loss and hope, Koji Fukada's first international coproduction is set against the backdrop of real-life tragedy in the seaside town of Banda Aceh, Sumatra. An area once devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, and now reborn, it inspired the award-winning director to craft a story with parallels to Japan's own triple disasters in 2011.

Although he once again focuses on the sudden arrival and impact of a mysterious visitor, as he did in the Cannes Jury Prize-winning "Harmonium" and his earlier film "Hospitalité," Fukada here incorporates documentary-style scenes touching on still-fresh memories of the tsunami as well as the area's recent civil war, and further back, lingering recollections of World War II.

As "The Man from the Sea" opens, we meet Japanese aid worker Takako (Tsuruta), who has settled in Banda Aceh, assisting in ongoing reforestation and other disaster recovery projects with her son Takashi (Taiga), while her husband remains in Yogyakarta. On the day her niece Sachiko (Abe) is scheduled to arrive on a visit from Japan, a Japanese man (Fujioka) is found lying on a beach, apparently stricken by amnesia, and Takako is called to help. He seems able to understand Japanese and Indonesian, but he cannot - or will not - speak. While his identity is being ascertained, she reluctantly agrees to let him stay at her house overnight.

Takako nicknames the stranger Laut, meaning "sea" in Indonesian, and he seems comfortable just... being. Smiling serenely, he sits by himself as life swirls around him. Takako, assisted by aspiring journalist Ilma (Sekar), attemps to uncover who this enigmatic visitor is and where he came, while Sachiko gets settled in and meets Takashi's college friend Kris (Adipati). He helps her begin her own search for the beach her father so fondly remembered, where she hopes to scatter his ashes.

And then gradually, strange phenomena begin occurring in Laut's presence. He seems to have the power to make dead fish jump, cold showers warm, bubbles of water float, and the dead appear to loved ones. Is he really Naoki Kuroda, the missing tourist? Or something altogether more ambiguous?

Please join us for this sneak preview of "The Man from the Sea" ahead of its Japanese release on May 26.

For more (in Japanese):

Writer-director KOJI FUKADA graduated from the Film School of Tokyo and joined the Seinendan Theater Company in 2005. He has built an impressive body of award-winning film work in the past decade, starting with "Human Comedy in Tokyo" (2008), "Hospitalité," winner of the Japan Eyes section at the 2010 Tokyo International Film Festival and Best Asian Film at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, "Au revoir l'eté" (2013), winner of the Grand Prize at the Three Continents Festival, "Sayonara" (2015) which premiered in Competition at TIFF, and featured the world's first android actress in a leading role, and finally, "Harmonium" (2016), the acclaimed Jury Prizewinner in the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard.

DEAN FUJIOKA is an actor and musician who began his career as a model in Hong Kong, where he then made his film debut in "August Story" (2005). He also starred on Taiwanese TV, as well as in films, as well as launching a music career in Indonesia, before returning to Japan. His first project here was the controversial "I Am Ichihashi: Journal of a Murderer" (2012), which he directed and starred in. In 2015, he became an overnight sensation on NHK's morning drama Here Comes Asa, and went on to star in NHK's ongoing Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, as well as other TV shows. In film, he has starred in "Ninja the Monster" (2016), "Fullmetal Alchemist" (2017), "Kids on the Slope" (2018), and he will also be seen next month in the gritty corporate drama "Recall."

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


The Man from the Sea 290p.jpg
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