This is an event I look forward to every year – the Japan Film Week. I started paying attention in 2017 when I was on a one year work hiatus. Back then I would travel to the University of the Philippines in Diliman, a good one and a half hour commute from my home, to watch the the movie I was keen to see: Tori Girl. It was a fun movie to watch, and was quite inspiring actually.
This year, COVID didn’t stop me from watching a couple of films lined up for the Japan Film Week, which ran from July 22 to 26. It turned out to be more convenient as I was able to watch it in my bedroom, and I was not pressured for time. The only challenge was the slots were first come first serve, and originally I planned on watching three films but the slots for Bittersweet ran out so I was not able to watch it.
For the 2 films I watched, I’d say I made a good choice. The first one was Hana’s Miso, a heartwarming film about family, love and legacy. It wasn’t full of dramatic moments, but it did bring tears to my eyes as the main plot hit close to home.
The second film, Chieri and Cherry, was an animated film that reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes, my favorite comic book characters. But this one had a more serious tone, and again, tugged at my hearstrings. I really am becoming more sentimental these days.
Thank goodness for these film festivals, I am able to immerse myself more into arts and cultures. The next one I’m looking forward to is the Cinemalaya on August 7 to 13.