Okatsuka: Was this directed by a Japanese director?
No. The director, Rupert Sanders, is white and from England.
Okatsuka: Because I’m curious about the directing of certain moments. A Japanese mom, she wouldn’t just let a stranger barge in.
Yoshihara: And the last scene where the mom hugs her daughter at the grave, that was weird to me. Because Japanese people, we don’t hug, especially mom’s generation. Maybe an intense look instead.
Kato-Kiriyama: They’d be crying. And they wouldn’t be looking at each other, they’d be looking down.
Yoshihara: I was like, “No no no no no. We don’t do that.”
Perhaps Sanders and the screenwriters, Jamie Moss, William Wheeler and Ehren Kruger, don’t believe that race is relevant?
Okatsuka: And that experience is more generic because of it. You’re supposed to connect with the fact that she hasn’t seen her mom in a while. If she was a girl who grew up in Japan and ran away, first, she would feel shame, because she’s Japanese. (Laughter.)
Agena: Where was the shame in this movie?! There should have been a lot more shame.
Kato-Kiriyama: No eye contact! You’re just staring at your mom’s toes the whole time!
Yoshihara: The actress who played the mom played a madam in Memoirs of a Geisha, and when I saw that movie I knew she was directed by white directors because she was totally playing an American bitch. In Japan, we don’t act like that. The demeanor and body language was mimicking an American person. Any time a white director directs a Japanese movie, they’re always trying to get us to act American.
Submitted by when-did-this-become-difficult