Sacramento Japanese Film Festival Set for July 18-20

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A scene from "Dirty Hearts."

A scene from “Dirty Hearts.”

SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento Japanese Film Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a lineup of seven films the weekend of July 18-20 at Sacramento’s Crest Theatre:

• “Rebirth,” Friday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. Kiwako steals a baby girl from a former lover and his wife. She is caught by the police four years later, and the little girl, Erina, is returned to her birth parents. Erina grows up and returns to the town where she was born to search for her past. Winner of 11 Japanese Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress. (Japanese with English subtitles)

• “Sake Bomb,” Saturday, July 19, at 11:55 a.m. Sebastian is a sarcastic young Japanese American with dreams of hitting the big time in entertainment. His naïve cousin, Naoto, is in the wine business and F.O.B. (fresh off the boat) from Japan. The cousins take a road trip through the Napa wine country in search of wine, women, and adventure. This comedy is about ethnic identity issues and learning to like yourself. (English/Japanese)

• “Dirty Hearts,” July 19 at 1:40 p.m. The year is 1946 and the place is Brazil. Eighty percent of Japanese Brazilians who live in small towns in the country believe Japan is winning the war. An assassination squad is formed under a Japanese imperial officer. One by one the squad picks off their opponents. Historical drama based on two years of Japanese Brazilian history. (Japanese/Portuguese with English subtitles)

• “Colorful,” July 19 at 3:40 p.m. A dead soul is given the chance to enter the body of a teenage boy who committed suicide. The soul enters the boy when the latter is revived at the hospital. It is a chance to live again and do better the second time. “Colorful” expresses the beauty and value of everyday life in spite of difficult family issues, academic pressures, and not belonging. (Japanese with English subtitles)

• “Harakiri,” July 19 at 7:30 p.m. It is 1630 and the Tokogawa shoguns rule Japan.  Many ronin (leaderless samurai) roam the countryside. Before committing harakiri, ronin Tsugumo Hanshiro tells the tragic story of Motomo, who was forced to kill himself with a blunt bamboo sword. Director Masaki Kobayashi’s film attacks the samurai bushido code of conduct, which values tradition and form more than individuals. Awarded the 1963 Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Award.

• “Irodori,” Sunday, July 20, at 1:30 p.m. Eda, a young man, works for a farming co-op in a small mountain town. He thinks there is a future in selling wild greenery to restaurants and bento makers. Three senior women buy into his dream despite a non- supportive husband and cynical local farmers. They all succeed beyond their wildest dreams.

• “Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings,” July 20 at 3:45 p.m. Jake Shimakuburo’s jaw-dropping musical genius and joy are captured in this documentary. Filmmaker Tad Nakamura takes us behind the scenes to see Shimabukuro’s life and live his music. The Sacramento Japanese Film Festival will present Nakamura with the Emerging Filmmaker Award. This is a new award and will not be given each year.

Single tickets are $10 and the All-Festival Pass is $35. Purchase at the Crest Theatre box office, 1013 K St., Sacramento, or call (916) 442-5189. Validated parking at Capital Garage, 10th and L streets, Friday after 5 p.m., Saturday afternoon, and all day Sunday; City Hall Garage, 10th & L streets, Friday and Saturday evenings, Saturday afternoon, and all day Sunday.

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