This movie was shown at three locations in past August. It was so well received that people had to be turned away.
Organizers announced a screening on Friday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2706 W. 182nd St. (south of Crenshaw Boulevard) in Torrance. They also expressed their intention to seek out people who was once associated with Manchuria.
Japan established the state of Manchukuo in the northeast part of China and Mongolia; from 1932 through 1945 more than 270,000 Japanese farming families were relocated to a border area close to Russia. Japan’s aggressive resettlement policy during WWII victimized many poor Japanese farmers as well as Chinese.
More than half of the Japanese lost their lives, most of them women and children. The men were incarcerated in forced labor camps in Siberia.
More civilians, mostly women and children, perished in Manchuria than in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and all of this happened after Japan surrendered to the Allies in August of 1945. This is a little-known tragic story of WWII.
Director Hisako Yamada, 86, decided that this story must be told. she has a reputation of producing powerful, inspiring movies based on true story of unsung heroes. “Bokyo no Kane” was made four years ago to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, but it took this long to add English subtitles and bring it here.
The movie tells the true story of poor farming villagers and a Buddhist priest who immigrated to Manchuria only three months before Japan lost the war. During their flight from the Russian army, families were torn apart; only one-third of the villagers came back alive to Japan.
The priest is captured by the Russians and endures hard labor in Siberia for many years. When he comes back home, he found out that his wife and two children never came back. He starts his long journey to search for children left behind in China at a time when Japan and China had no diplomatic ties. This is his life story of dedication and success in reuniting people despite many obstacles. He died in 1990.
For more information, contact Mikko Henson at (310) 378-3550 or [email protected]