February 2024

Join the Film Committee

©2024 Hema Films

Join us on Tuesday, February 6 at 6 pm for a sneak preview of Hemant Singh’s genre-busting extravaganza Wasabi – Not a Fairy Tale. As the film opens, the audience is treated to a deeply sensitive portrayal of the relationship between alcoholic mother Motoko and daughter Kano (played by the brilliant Julian Koike), whom she depends on for moral (and financial) support. Just when they’ve been lulled into believing they’re watching a family drama that is safely chugging along like a train on which they have ridden dozens of times, it’s revealed they have been inside a tunnel ascending a hill and the train is, in fact, a roller coaster. But before they have time to realize what’s happening, Singh hurls them down the first drop of a story line that contains enough barrel rolls, corkscrews and loops to give some of the world’s craziest roller-coaster hunters the ride of their life. Following the sudden loss of her mother, Kano is reborn into the hero (anti-hero?) Wasabi, who leads a ragtag team of friends, including her mother’s boyfriend, Hiro (Nomura) on a path of revenge. Difficult to describe without spoiling the surprise, the film never veers from its central theme of anti-bullying, even as Singh whips the story and his characters at neck-breaking speeds through multiple film genres – superhero, crime/thriller and even yakuza (!). The director will be joined by actors Julian Koike and Keisuke Nomura for the Q&A session. (Wasabi – Not a Fairy Tale, Japan, 2024, 119 minutes, in Japanese with English subtitles).

Watch trailer

Thomas Ash