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Thursday, July 27, 2017, 19:00 - 21:30

A struggling worker risks everything for a new life in America… but the past follows him
Sneak Preview Screening: Out of My Hand (Liberia no shiroi chi)
followed by a Q&A with writer-director Takeshi Fukunaga

Thursday, July 27 at 7:00 pmOut of My Hand 356p
In English with English/Japanese subtitles
USA / Liberia, 2015 88 minutes   

Director: Takeshi Fukunaga
Writers: Takeshi Fukunaga, Donari Braxton
Producers: Donari Braxton, Mike Fox
Bishop Blay, Zenobia Taylor, Duke Murphy Dennis, David Roberts,
Rodney Rogers-Beckley, Clarence Cooper, Cliffort Forte,
Joshua Milton Blahyi, Joshep Duo            

Film courtesy of Nikoniko Film            

Two years after its much-heralded premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival and widespread distribution overseas, Takeshi Fukunaga's award-winning first feature "Out of My Hand" is finally set to open in Japan.

In the interim, the whole world has changed, and the potency of Fukunaga's nuanced narrative has only gained in force.

Cisco (Blay, in a raw, commanding debut) is a rubber plantation worker in the Liberian countryside with a loving wife, two small children, and a group of friends who stick up for each other. But when his union calls a strike that proves disastrous, Cisco refuses to follow others back to work. "What should we do?" he erupts in righteous anger. "Beg them to break our backs?" "Beg them to treat us like dogs?"

At church one Sunday, the preacher exhorts his flock to "wake up and go!" (he is played with colorful verisimilitude by the warlord-turned-Christian minister Joshua Milton Blahyi, aka General Butt Naked). Cisco heeds the call to leave, knowing it's his last chance to escape the vicious cycle and provide a better life for his family. Following his cousin Marvin (Rogers-Beckley) to New York City, he finds a job as a taxi driver, a close-knit community of fellow Liberians, and a life that's not so different from back home. But then a ghost from the past rises up to haunt him. Jacob (Roberts), a former child soldier with a burning rage, is the one person who can unleash Cisco's own demons.

Just the second narrative feature ever shot in Liberia by a foreign crew, with a local cast of many nonprofessional actors, "Out of My Hand" is directed by Fukunaga with remarkable restraint - and a welcome absence of melodrama or predictability. There is poetry in the film's evocation of the daily life of the downtrodden, as well as in its luminous images, shot in the documentary-style Liberian scenes by cinematographer Ryo Murakami, who died from malaria shortly after returning to New York.

Please join us for this sneak preview of "Out of My Hand" ahead of its Japanese release on August 5.

For more (in Japanese):

Writer-director TAKESHI FUKUNAGA is a New York-based Japanese filmmaker. An alumnus of IFP First Feature Lab and Berlinale Talents, he won the Best U.S. Fiction Award at the LA Film Festival and was nominated for the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award for "Out of My Hand." He was recently selected for the Cannes Film Festival Cinéfondation residency, where he is now developing his second feature film, a present-day story of Ainu people.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

Out of My Hand 290p.jpg
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