A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Japanese Film Festival


The Embassy of Japan in Uganda hosted a Japanese Film Festival in Kampala this weekend. They provided numerous showings of three different Japanese films. This was a free event and you received a free pencil to write your comments after each film. Who can resist this unique event in Uganda?

There were many PCV’s in town and it was even my friend Mandy’s birthday so we ventured forth into the world of Japanese cinema. Our limited knowledge of Japanese film had us convinced we’d be watching an animae movie. Much to our surprise and delight we saw an extremely cheesy yet sweet drama called, “Ping Pong Bath Station.” It was about a woman who is discontent with her housewife life in Tokyo and sets off to find purpose. She organizes a ping pong tournament and through that her family comes for her and all rediscover the “work” needed to maintain relationships. It was cute.

I was very impressed with the Japanese Embassy and their pursuit of educating those living in Uganda more about their culture. Before the movie started there was a short segment on fan making and sushi making. It was informative.

I’m afraid many of the Ugandan’s present were not able to understand the film. It was in Japanese and subtitled in English. A few Ugandan’s left during the film and I suspect it is because they could not read the English fast enough to follow the film. Those that stayed were either able to follow along to the writing or to understand based on the visual. But what else could be done? They couldn’t dub over the voices into all 53 languages of this country now could they?

I do so very much appreciate this countries desire to be more than just an embassy alone in a building. They are ambassadors in many ways bridging cultural understanding to promote peace. Great job Japan!
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