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Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 18:30 - 21:30

Six strangers with mysterious pasts, and the city functionary who tries to help them

Sneak Preview Screening: "The Scythian Lamb (Hitsuji no ki)" followed by
a Q&A with director Daihachi Yoshida and star Ryo Nishikido**

Wednesday, January 31 at 6:30 pm*Hitsuji no ki poster 356p
*Please note early start time.
In Japanese with English subtitles
Japan, 2017 126 minutes

**With additional star guest, we made some following important changes to control the screening venue.

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Please note that photography will be strictly controlled and restricted to professional photographers who sign release forms at the press table in front of the venue.
No smart phone shooting will be allowed during the Q& A and the post-Q&A photo session, to prevent anonymous SNS posting.Members reserving after January 15 are limited to one guest per member.
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Director: Daihachi Yoshida
Writer: Masahito Kagawa (based on Tatsuhiko Yamagami and
Mikio Igarashi's manga "Hitsuji no Ki")
Producer: Yoko Ide
Starring: Ryo Nishikido, Fumino Kimura, Kazuki Kitamura, Yuka,
Mikako Ichikawa, Shingo Mizusawa, Min Tanaka, Ryuhei Matsuda

Film courtesy of Asmik Ace

Ever spent a few hours in one of Japan's small towns and wondered just what it would take to liven it up a little? What if the government had a secret plan for repopulating such towns, and what if you were in charge of helping newcomers make themselves at home?

That's the position Hajime Tsukisue (Nishikido) finds himself in at the start of Daihachi Yoshida's new film, "The Scythian Lamb," a darkly comic look at rural revitalization. Tsukisue is a city functionary in Uobuka, a down-at-its-heels harbor town somewhere Out There, and he's been assigned to "acclimate" six strangers - four men, two women - as they arrive a few days apart via planes and trains, all a little dazed.

A model official, Tsukisue goes about the job with friendly efficiency, welcoming each arrival with helpful local factoids. It never occurs to him to ask where they've come from and why; it's only later that he learns they're part of a government program to release convicted felons who are considered low risk back into society. His boss warns him to continue keeping the secret, since the ex-cons must remain in town for 10 years in exchange for early parole. Tsukisue isn't the curious type, and besides, he's just discovered that his high-school crush, Aya (Kimura) is back from the big city.

Gradually, the newcomers settle in and assimilate into the community. There's Hiroki Fukumoto (Mizusawa), a timid type who starts apprenticing to a barber; Katsumi Ono (Tanaka), a silent type with a bad scar over his eye, who's working in a dry cleaning shop; Reiko Ota (Yuka), a sexy type who becomes a caregiver in the same home that Tsukisue's dad is staying in; Kiyomi Kurimoto (Ichikawa), whose methodical work as a janitor leaves something to be desired; Katushi Sugiyama (Kitamura), a boisterous fisherman; and the youngest, Ichiro Miyakoshi (Matsuda), who happily becomes a deliveryman and begins taking guitar lessons from Aya after Tsukisue introduces him.

And then one day, a body washes up in Uobuka harbor, and it's clear foul play was involved....

Join us for this sneak preview of "The Scythian Lamb," winner of the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award at the 2017 Busan International Film Festival, ahead of its Japanese release on February 3.

For more (in Japanese): http://hitsujinoki-movie.com

Director DAIHACHI YOSHIDA began his career directing commercials, and winning international awards before directing his first feature, "Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers!", which premiered in the Critics Week at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. After directing "The Wonderful World of Captain Kuhio" (2009) and "Permanent Nobara" (2010) he won the Best Film and Best Director Awards at the Japan Academy Awards for "The Kirishima Thing" in 2012. He won a second Best Director Award from the Japan Academy with his 2014 film, "Pale Moon." He released "A Beautiful Star," based on Yukio Mishima's short story, in 2017.

Actor RYO NISHIKIDO is the veteran of two J-pop singing groups and many popular TV shows, where he made his debut on NHK in 2003, and scooped up a number of TV drama awards. He made his feature film debut as the lead in the time-slip comedy "A Boy & His Samurai" in 2010, and has starred in "Eight Ranger" (2012), "Hospitality Department" (2013), "I Just Wanna Hug You" (2014) and "Eight Ranger 2" (2014).

Please note that photography will be strictly controlled and restricted to professional photographers who sign release forms at the press table in front of the venue. No smart phone shooting will be allowed during the Q& A and the post-Q&A photo session, to prevent anonymous SNS posting.

Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk (3211-3161) or register below. Members reserving after January 15 are limited to one guest per member.

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

 

Hitsuji no ki poster 290p.jpg
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