Japanese film shot in Hunza valley released

ISLAMABAD, Feb 28: On Wednesday, the National Art Gallery began screening a recently-released Japanese film, “A Chair on the Plains,” part of which was shot in the Hunza Valley. The Japanese Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad, Akira Kono, called the film “a fruit of the friendly relationship between Japan and Pakistan.” “A Chair on the Plains” (Sougen no Isu, in Japanese), based on a novel by the respected Japanese writer Teru Miyamoto, was directed by Izuru Narushima, whose other movies include “Midnight Eagle” and the award-winning “Rebirth.” The film, the first Japanese movie to have shot in Hunza, was released in Japan only six days ago, the charge d’affaires told the audience at the premiere. One of the film’s lead actors, Masahiko Nishimura, flew to Islamabad for the premiere screening at the National Art Gallery, which will show the film until March 1. After shooting in Japan, he said, “we flew all the way to the Hunza valley for some of the scenes.” The cast spent about three weeks filming in Hunza and Skardu August last. Set in Tokyo soon after the earthquake and the tsunami of 2012, the film focuses on four friends who, looking for alternatives to their lives, discover a mysterious photograph of a chair placed in empty plains. They become convinced that the photo shows “Shangri-La” and undertake a journey to “heaven on earth,” the Hunza valley. There, they encounter unfamiliar emotions and values, leading them to a new discovery of themselves. Masahiko Nishimura told the audience that getting to the Hunza valley was a challenge that took over 30 hours. “But probably the most difficult part of shooting there,” he said, “was choosing the right scenery. Everywhere we looked was so beautiful.” The same could be said of the movie itself, which suggested to many in the audience that despite the dominance of Hollywood, some of the most powerful movies in recent years have come from Japan.–Dawn]]>

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