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20 February 2017

German film "Er ist wieder da" (Look who's back)

The German title means "He is back again." In Japan it was titled "Hitler Returns."

The story is based on a novel of the same title. Adolf Hitler time slipped to 21st century Berlin and became a popular comedian. His comments were provocative but come with humor. People considered him imposter of Hitler, but he was a real figure.

At first it seems revival of his appearance looked comical, but in the end, it was found very serious matter. A lot of innocent people were killed by his action. Not a laughing matter.

But this reflected current trend of the world.

The very example is US President, Donald Trump who took office last month.

He is anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, racist, sexist and America First, especially white men First. Kind of horrific figure after first Afro-American President retired.

But that was a reality of America. America has been that way from the past. He said he wanted to build the wall on Mexican border. No more Hispaics. But until 1965, America had accepted mostly white immigrants from Europe.

Liberal and cosmopolitan America is very recent phenomenon which now started to fade by this man.

In 1960's America was very rich, and countering Russian communism so liberal policy prevailed.

Today America is no longer a rich nation. Cannot afford generousity and diversity.

Like Hitler's slogan, "One Nation in One State." Americans, especially whites want to go back to White Anglo Sacson Protestant America.

Just like America, other nations follow suit. Europeans have become anti-Muslim. They are basically predominantly Christian people. Why should they accept non-Christian immigrants or refugees for humanitarian purpose? Immigrants bring different culture and language and do not easily adopt to traditional community.

In every nation, priority is traditional majority. Race, culture, and language surely matter.

Society cannot be easily changed.  When things change too quickly, it is natural that backlash comes.

Change should have been done at appropriate speed.

Whether it is good or evil, it is the law of human nature. Japan accepts very small number of immigrants or refugees compared to US or European nations. We are really natural and honest nation. But cannot be proud of that.

As for the film, I like the ending scene that Hitler waved his hand to the crowd with the song of the same title. It was 1960's German ballard song. That was really nice. I was lucky to know this song. I am studying German by this song. 

 

05 January 2017

Film "A Geisha" Feminist study movie

1st time I watch this film was more than 20 years ago. When I was attending US university. I took a course titled "History of Japanese and Chinese women." During the 4 month-long semester, the attending students had to see the old Japanese film as part of course requirement and the students all discussed matter related to the theme of the film. The film was of course, played with subtitle.

The film was released in 1953, 8 years after Japan's surrender to the war. Japan regained sovereignty and new constitution that ensures basic human rights and women's suffrage became effective. The story took in Gion district, famous Geisha town in Kyoto.

So women including Geisha girls should have basic human rights as other people. The two geisha got in trouble with their clients. One younger apprentice geisha (called Maiko) was about to be raped by her client so she fought back and hurt him. That aggrevated the client. Then the older geisha who ran Geisha house and hired the apprentice had to compensate by sleeping with the client's big client so that both can reach a big business agreement.

She was used as a prostitute and a tool for the business. The apprentice was shocked to know that because she thought that is not what a Geisha does.

In the last scene, the older Geisha says "You are living in a new era. I want you to keep your body clean."

A sad fact of Geisha life.

Nowadays, such thing should not be done so often, I believe.

A lot of people seem to misunderstand job of Geisha. Geisha literally means "Artist" or "Entertainer."

Geisha is after all, entertainer. Just showing dances, and singing songs in the party room. Of course they escort guests by pouring sake and chatting with them. They do not sleep with guests.  

They are not prostitutes. They have never been like that even in the very old days. But what happened to them is sometimes Geisha needed a big money to make a debut buying expensive kimono. So easiest way to get that is have patrons. Geisha agencies preferred that way so that the agencies could get back the debut fund they owed their hired geishas. Some popular ones did not have patrons because she could payback the debut fund only by entertaining guests in party rooms.  

Geisha not only entertain adult men but they entertain families including children. No alcohol, and nasty or obscure talk in the room. Just enjoying shows, meals, casual talk and views from the window. Independent and decent women's occupation.

That should be the tradition we have to preserve.

15:46 Posted in Film, Society | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: history, women, feminism, geisha, kyoto

11 May 2016

French film "Une Nouvelle Amie (The New Girlfriend)" Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

The story of the film reminds me of American transwoman, Caitlyn Jenner, who was a Olympic gold medalist named Bruce Jenner.

He turned himself to be a woman at the age of 65 but her sexual preference was the same as before. She loves women.

The story started with a funeral scene and a woman named Claire who lost her bestfriend making a speech.

Her late bestfriend, Laura had been married and had a girl. One day Claire entered Laura's house and saw David, husband of Laura, dressed in woman cloth.

Claire was at first upset but later gradually accepting his feminine part and then attracted to him being a woman. In the end, the two fell in love with each other as two women.

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation are two seperate matters. Never interlook each other.

The movie is about what is a big deal about gender and sexual orientation.

The actor who played David was excellent in terms of casting and his act as transwoman.

He was kind of a bi-sexual or neutral person but never disgusting. He was beautifully musculine as well as feminine.

In Japan it is said Gods or Buddha are asexual. Gender is what we, humanity defines.

Last week I attended one of LBGT events set forth for Tokyo Rainbow Parade 2016 held on 8 of May. The event was discussion on how family members of LGBT deal with their LGBT member and society. I met a Korean American woman whose daughter turned herself into male at the age of 16. She said she was encouraged by Jenner's coming out and was glad that her son could do the same much earlier age.

As the theme in this movie has become common recently, LGBT lifestyle has become more socially acceptable.

We may be living in a greatest transition period.

P.S. The French song, "Une femme avec moi" was just excellent as the movie as a whole. 

 

03:44 Posted in Film, France, Society | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: lgbt, gay, lesbian, women

04 April 2016

Film"God is not dead" Cheap Christian propaganda

The story is about debate between a dedicated Christian college student and an atheist college professor.

The professor demanded all the students in his course to write "God is dead" following Nietzche words.

But one student protested. Then he was told to explain why he did to the class.

In the end, Christian prevailed and atheists were portrayed as evil.

First half of the film, I was very attracted to the theme of the film but latter half, I found that I had been deceived.

It seems for Christians, atheists are immoral people. Is Christianity so divine? Maybe for westerners, it is foundation of the society. But not for atheist, polytheist Shinto, Budhist or sometimes Christian Japanese like me.

However, it was great opportunity to learn how conservative Christians think about their own faith.

For them, Christian is superior to any other religion. Once one joins Christian organization, it doesn't matter if s/he has different background and they help each other.

It gives them happier life than others.

But scary thing is being big on it could somtimes lead to oppressing others. Once one believes in Jesus Christ, others would be just evils. Among them, atheists, who don't have faith at all are worst. That means such people are to be persecuted.

But didn't Jesus Christ say "Love your neighbors"? Only within their community?  

10:59 Posted in Film, Society | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: religion, christianity