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Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 19:00 - 21:30

Interlopers shake up an isolated matriarchal utopia

Sneak Preview Screening: "KUSHINA, WHAT WILL YOU BE (Kushina)"
followed by a Q&A with director Moët Hayami
and stars Yayoi Inamoto and Miyuki Ono

Wednesday, July 15 at 7:00 pm07152020 Kushina 356p
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2018 70 minutes

Writer-director: Moët Hayami
Starring: Ikumi Kader, Tomona Hirota, Yayoi Inamoto,
Suguru Onuma, Miyuki Ono

Film courtesy of Armide

IMPORTANT NOTE: We will be limiting the audience to 50 people, and request the following
in order to assure everyone's safety: We will take temperatures in the reception area, and ask that you provide your name/contact number.
Masks will be mandatory; please bring your own.

What would a world without men look like? In Moët Hayami's enigmatic first feature, "Kushina, what will you be," there is such a world, and it is both beautiful and beguiling - but also fraught with potential dangers from within and without.

Fourteen-year-old Kushina (Kader) is the youngest inhabitant of this village of women, hidden deep in the forested mountains of Japan, where many of them had come to commit suicide but stayed on to live together. The female sanctuary was founded by Onikuma (Ono), who had fled modern "civilization" with her daughter Kagu (Hirota) when she was 14 and pregnant with Kushina. Onikuma hasn't completely cut ties with the outside world - she makes long, dangerous trips to the city to trade for food and other necessities the cannabis the women cultivate. But she will do anything to protect the isolation of the colony. And soon, she will have to.

Their peaceful existence is upended by the arrival of anthropologist Soko (Inamoto) and her male assistant Keita (Onuma), who have been searching for the village for some time. "Human beauty develops distinctively in isolated communities," Soko had told him, and now she has her chance to document the proof. Enchanted with Kushina's innocence and her curiosity about what lies beyond the woods, Soko unwittingly alters the women's lives forever.

Directed with intense delicacy and magnificently shot (by Ryo Muramatsu), "Kushina" had its world premiere at the Osaka Asian Film Festival in 2018, where it won the Japan Cuts Award, taking its director and stars to New York City for a widely heralded screening. Overwhelmed by the international attention she received for her very personal story, Hayami decided against releasing it in Japan. We are grateful she has changed her mind - and you will be, too. Please join us for this sneak preview before the Japan release of "Kushina, what will you be" on July 24.

For more (in Japanese):

Writer-director MOËT HAYAMI graduated from Ritsumeikan University's College of Image Arts and Sciences and earned a graduate degree at Waseda University before beginning a career in film and commercial production. She was the assistant director on Takuro Nakamura's "West North West," and one of the production designers on Ryutaro Nakagawa's award-winning "Summer Blooms." "Kushina" marks her directorial debut, and she was also the editor, art director and costume designer for the film.

YAYOI INAMOTO takes her first major film role with "Kushina." She began her career at the age of 15, when she was selected from a pool of 20,000 applicants in a modeling contest sponsored by Sony. She is now a "tarento," and appears in numerous commercials, plays and TV shows.

MIYUKI ONO made her film debut in 1979 as the female lead in "Trucker Yaro IX: A 5000 Km Run" opposite Bunta Sugawara, and went on to appear in such distinctive works as "G.I. Samurai" (1979), "Evil Dead Trap"(1988), "Black Rain," directed by Ridley Scott (1989), and "Scissors Man" (2005).

Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk 03 3211-3161 or register below.
You may attend the Q&A session without attending the screening, but you will not have seating priority and
please inform the Reception Desk to assure there is seating available.
All film screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.

- Karen Severns, Film Committee


07152020 Kushina 290p.jpg
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