SHARJAH: The Sharjah Art Foundation celebrated the 50-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the UAE with its Japanese Film Weekend, presented in collaboration with the Consulate General of Japan in Dubai and The Japan Foundation.
The programme included two films focusing on personal relationships: 5 Centimeters per Second (2007) by Makoto Shinkai, an anime about the complexities of love and Tokyo Story (1953) by Yasujiro Ozu, a classic story of family, was screened on Nov. 12 and 19.
A representative of the Japanese consulate in Dubai exclusively told Arab News Japan that the selection of movies screened was chosen by the Sharjah Art Foundation. “It was a good combination of anime and classical Japanese movies.”
“The turnout was bigger on the Nov. 12 probably because the content was anime, but it was definitely a great experiment trying something classical on Nov. 19,” the representative said.
Regarding the upcoming projects for the Japanese consulate in Dubai following the Autumn Film Series, he said: “We have a few more projects coming up next month and possibly the beginning of next year as commemorative events for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. One of them is organized by the Japanese Association, the Japan Festival in Dubai, scheduled on Dec. 11, and this event is endorsed by the Consulate General of Japan. The concept is to showcase an authentic Japanese local festival not only for the Japanese community here but also for the Emiratis and foreigners residing in Dubai. Hopefully, this festival could deepen the understanding towards Japan among them and encourage them to travel to Japan in the near future.”
One of the movies screened was ‘5 Centimeters per Second,’ which is a romantic drama animation about young love, missed connections and unrequited feelings. Tono Takaki and Sinohara Akari have been apart since they left elementary school but have kept in touch through correspondence. Stuck in the past and unable to move on, Takaki and Akari cling to the hope of seeing each other again. As years pass, adverse weather, cold technology and adult obligations test their delicate relationship.
The other moview was a digitally restored version of Tokyo Story, in which Shūkichi and Tomi live in Onomichi, a small coastal town in Hiroshima, with their daughter Kyōko. The elderly couple embark on a long journey to visit their eldest son and daughter as well as grandchildren in Tokyo. Despite an amiable reception, they sense an absence of warmth as the children are busy with their fast-paced city life. Feeling unwelcome, they cut their stay short and return home. Before long, the son and daughter in Tokyo received a telegram from Kyōko, informing them that their mother is critically ill.