Princess Kaiulani

Directed by Marc Forby (2009)                                                                                  Based on a biography of Princess Kaiulani in the late of 1880s Hawaii.  Polynesian and Scottish mixed blooded 13 years old Princess Kaiulani is next in line for the Hawaiian throne. However, the Royal family and Hawaiian people struggle to keep their independence and right of self-governance away from the economical and political power of newly arrived people in the islands. Princess Kaiulani is exiled to father’s country, and almost settles in there for her new loving life. As receiving the heartbroken news of her uncle King kalakaua died, she decides to return to Hawaii for her beloved islands and people.



Directed by John Sayles (2010)                                                                                       In the beginning of the 20th century Philippine, it’s the time to transfer the political and economical power from Spanish colony to American occupation. In a small village on Luzon Island, Philippine, some American soldiers come to occupy and even their language barrier, the soldiers need to communicate with the village people to learn how to live and manage their lives in the mysterious deep green nature.


Miss Wonton

Directed by Meng Ong (2001)                                                                                           A Chines young female suspected HIV infection is banished from her own village, and she comes to the United States for looking for an American dream. She works illegally to survive in New York City.

中国の小さな村でエイズ感染を疑われて村八分になった娘が、アメリカンドリームを夢見てニューヨークにやって来た。経済格差が世界各地で引き起こしている、違法外国人労働者のドラマである。社会の陰から陰へと生き延びるサバイバル精神には、異文化の奥にある人間の生き様が凝縮されているようだ。決して楽しい内容の映画ではないが、異文化のすれ違いを、第三者の目に滑稽に見せてもいる。米国で反響をよんだ映画The Joy Luck Clubの現代版とも言えそうだ。


Directed by Charles Burnett (1996)                                                                             Based on the novel by Gary Paulsen.  Twelve years old Sarny, a slave in the antebellum South, has the fortune to read and write. Despite literacy is not allowed for black slavers and it’s a crime punishable by death, a former runaway slaver, Nightjohn secretly teaches Sarny to read and write. Nightjohn and Sarny work together to free other slaves by forging passes to the North. But their planned escape is discovered.

米国の南北戦争以前の南部で使われていた黒人奴隷達は、読み書きを習うことが禁じられていた。しかしJohnという名の新しくやって来た黒人奴隷男性が、ある聡明な黒人奴隷少女に読み書きを内緒で教えた。識字の意義と喜びを学んだ少女は、白人プランテーション主達の世界に段々と足を踏み込んでゆく。危険と勇気の絡み合いの中で、文字は自由を手に入れる手段でもあった。米国黒人奴隷史の一コマを、勇敢なる少女によって描いた感動作品。少女役のAllison Jonesが好演をしている。

Ping Pong Playa

Directed by Jessica Yu (2007)                                                                                          A Chinese former Ping Pong player immigrates to America, and he owns a shop selling Ping Pong equipment in Chinese community. His Chinese wife is a Ping Pong instructor working in a cultural center, and their first son is also a Ping Pong player like as his father. However their second son loves to play basketball and TV games, and his life is Ping Pong free. One day, his mother and his big brother are suffered by a traffic accident. Now, talkative second son must teache Ping Pong game at the culture center instead of his mother.


Hard Lesson

Directed by Eric Laneuville (1986)                                                                                      Inspired by a true story. A new principal comes to a high school located in the low incomer community of Los Angeles. The uncontrolled school seems like abandon from students’ parents, teachers, and the community.The new principal definitely needs to protect his school from criminals and to reform it to put on the right track.

ロスアンジェルスの規則も風紀も荒れ果てた高校に着任した校長を、若きDenzel Washingtonが演じている。黒人が多く低所得者の住民が住むコミュニティーにあるその高校は、親達も地域も教育への関心が低く、ギャング団が構内にまで入り込んできた。意欲ある若き校長の奮闘物語であるが、実話に基ずいた映画だけに最後の卒業式は感動深い。すさんだ人間の心にも、良心は存在しているし、それを目覚めさせるのが教育の役割とのメッセージが込められている作品。

Cry, The Beloved Country

Directed by Darrell Roodt (1995)                                                                                       A murder occurred in 1946 Johannesburg, in South Africa, and the tragic event is destined for connecting two different fathers. The well established white man is a father whose son is killed, and the black gentle preacher is a father whose son is convicted death sentence of the murder. Overwhelming sadness of lost own son suddenly starts emotional fighting in the minds of two fathers. Under the apartheid policy the fathers patiently understand the necessity of avoiding a violent collision.  And they find together the kind of mutual understanding that could heal a nation.  Based on the novel.


Carol’s Journey

Directed by Imanol Uribe (2004)                                                                                 Carol is a Spanish-American twelve years old girl raised in New York, and she travels to Spain with her mother to meet mother’s family as the first time in the turbulent year of 1938. Separation form her beloved father is sad, but he is a pilot in the international brigades involved in the Spanish Civil War. In her mother’s native village, Carol finds her new life and experiences bittersweet days to be ready enter into the adulthood.



Directed by Raoul Peck (2000)                                                                                          Based on a true event in 1960s Congo. Story of Congo’s independent from Belgium, and it’s not family-oriented film as including many violent and bloody scenes.  On the African continent, there are many tribes and ethnics have been living in their way. Western colonization raised disaster of  their original life values, and causes many conflicts. This is one example.  Starring: Eriq Ebouaney (French Actor)

1960年のベルギーから独立したコンゴの実話に基ずく歴史物語だが、衝撃的シーンもあるので、家族向けではない。ただ人類の歴史を紐解けば、異文化の醜い駆け引きにも、目を背けるわけにはゆかない。そういう事実を直視できる勇気ある大人達には、アフリカの心の痛みをより良く理解する為にも、鑑賞してほしい作品である。部族や価値観の異なる人達を一つにまとめる困難さは、決して過去のコンゴだけの問題ではなく、古今東西の永遠に人間が抱える問題とも言えるかもしれない。フランス生まれの俳優Eriq Ebouaney には、映画Malcom Xを演じたDenzel Washingtonを思い出す。,

Far From Heaven

Directed by Todd Haynes (2002)                                                                                      In 1957 Hartford, Connecticut, Cathy lives with her husband and two children very happily.  Her husband is a successful business man promoted his position in his company step by step with more success expected. Being wonderful wife and mother, Cathy is a perfect housewife until she finds her husband’s secret of having male lover. She struggles to live with pretending her perfect family. A black gardener who maintains her family yard acknowledges her tensed behavior, and he starts caring her.

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