On 11th March 2012, exactly one year after a massive earthquake triggered a tsunami that devastated the north east coast of Japan, Third Window Films are hosting a charity screening of Yûya Ishii's breathless new comedy Mitsuko Delivers (Hara ga kore nande), starring Riisa Naka, Aoi Nakamura and Ryo Ishibashi.
The film tells the story of a thirtysomething woman (Riisa Naka – Summer Wars) who is at a delicate juncture in life; alone, flat broke and to top it all nine-months pregnant. Her folks think she's in California living the high life with her baby's GI father. In fact she's in Tokyo, searching for a purpose, and eventually finding one in the ramshackle working-class alley where she grew up. The place reeks of destitution and bone idleness, but Mitsuko's infectious get-up-and-go attitude soon compels the locals to roll up their sleeves and restore the alley to its former glory. Mitsuko Delivers is original, fanciful and adventurous – quintessentially Japanese.
Adam Torel, Managing Director of Third Window Films, had this to say about the screening:
On March 11th, 2011 the largest earthquake in recorded history struck off the coast of Japan, sending shockwaves across the nation and a tsunami which engulfed much of the eastern seaboard of Japan. The earthquake triggered an explosion at Fukushima's Nuclear Power Plant which caused a plume of nuclear dust to be spread across the surrounding area, breaking apart families and daily life, but with an aftermath whose true effect may take years to fully comprehend.
A year on and Japan still lies in a state of destruction and confusion. In Fukushima, with the 'unseen' damage of the nuclear situation, the emotional scars of the people still living there are unimaginable. There is a certain stigma arising about both Fukushima and its people with the topic itself becoming 'off-limits'. People are feeling isolated and this can't be made to happen. Japan is one nation and to recover from this awful tragedy we need to help give voice to the people of Fukushima and keep them strong.
At the tail end of 2011, Third Window Films, alongside Pictures Dept., Bitters End, Dongyu, Rapid Eye Films and Joint Entertainment came together to produce Sion Sono's Land of Hope, a film modelled on the situation in Fukushima. We hope that it will further help open the eyes of many to what is going on in Fukushima.
It is my personal feeling, that staying strong mentally will keep the body strong, and a state of happiness and good spirits can overcome almost anything. Despite the heavy occasion, I want to show a light-hearted film so that people can be cheerful and that these spirits can be passed along to the people of Fukushima who in turn can be happy in the face of adversity.
The screening will take place at 7pm on 11th March 2012 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Tickets will be £10, and all the profits from the screening will go to a Fukushima-based charity. Third Window Films will also be selling DVDs at the event, with 100% of their sales also going to charity.
Alongside the Fukushima charity, Third Window Films are also giving away 100% of ticket sales of all Japanese films playing in their East Winds Film Festival (http://www.eastwindsfilm.com) to the Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund (http://www.japansociety.org.uk/earthquake/).
Ticket can be purchased at: www.ica.org.uk or www.thirdwindowfilms.com.