Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek said, “Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It
doesn’t give you what you desire—it tells you how to desire.” Believing in that and
attempting to enrich exchanging Egyptian and Japanese cultures, the Japan
Foundation’s Cairo office organised the 21st round of the Japanese Film Week.
The week kicked off on 26 February and ran till 2 March at the Artistic Creative
Centre at the Cairo Opera House. Each film presented a perspective of Japanese
culture, with the programme aiming to melt down the cultural distance between
Egypt and Japan and to give the audience a chance for a deeper perspective of the
culture of one of the world’s strongest economies.
This year’s round offered a new side of Japan. The main theme of the films
screened wass Japanese food.
“This year we present a variety of new-production Japanese feature films, all with
different themes, where Japanese food is the common denominator among them
all, hence the title ‘Taste of Life’,” said Masakazu Takahashi, director of the Japan
Foundation’s Cairo office.
The Japan Foundation is an independent administrative institution founded in 1972
under the auspices of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, to promote international
understanding through cultural exchange and to maintain and develop harmonious
relationships with foreign countries in different fields, such as arts, culture,
language, and intellectual exchange.
The film week witnesses the screening of the most popular films in Japan, such as
the animation movie Silver Spoon, which features the life of a high-school student
struggling to figure out what he wants to do with his life after graduating from
agriculture school. The animation falls under the umbrella of “manga”
films—comics originally published in Japan.
Most of the screened films were produced during the past two years.
The programme also included other hit films like There Is No Lid on the Sea which
tackles the life of the city-stressed citizens who look for inner peace.