Fashion Films: HULA GIRLS フラガール
@ JFT, free admission, RSVP required. For other films in the Fashion Films Series click here.
HULA GIRLS フラガール
Two screenings: Thursday April 12, 2018 6:30 PM and Tuesday April 17, 2018 6:30 PM
Directed by Sang-Il Lee 
In 1965, the country was ushering in a new era of oil from the days of coal. The location is in Iwaki-city, Fukushima Prefecture, where there was the biggest coal mine on the main island of Japan. In order to save the town, which is ailing as a result of large-scale reductions at the coal mine, a project is launched to build a Hawaiian-style paradise in this northern town. The film is based on a true story about the people who supported the construction of the leisure facility, “Joban Hawaiian Center”.
A high school girl, Kimiko (Aoi Yu), lives with her brother and her mother who works at the coal mine. Kimiko applies for a post as a Hawaiian Dancer despite fierce opposition from her mother. A former star dancer, Madoka (Matsuyuki Yasuko), is brought in from Tokyo as a dance teacher. She ridicules the coal mine and the unsophisticated girls at first, however, the girls’ single-minded devotion gradually rekindles her almost forgotten passion. The girls continue with their rigorous and intensive training despite the harsh realities each girl is faced with, and the day of the opening finally arrives.
Directed by Lee Sang-il of Scrap Heaven. The total film attendance exceeded 1 million people, and the film won 10 awards from the Japan Academy Prize.
Related: Documentary Fukushima Hula Girls
The 2006 hit movie Hula Girl dominated film awards in Japan with its depiction of the birth of Japan’s first resort park, themed on Hawaii and hot springs. The film was based on Spa Resort Hawaiians in Fukushima Prefecture, an area that suffered enormous damage in the Tohoku earthquake of March 2011. Fukushima Hula Girls takes a documentary approach in following the resort’s national hula dance tour, undertaken as a revitalization effort while fending off negative rumors. Shows the dancers who place their hopes in dance, narrated by Hula Girl actress Aoi Yu and directed by Masaki Kobayashi. More details here >