Directed by Mitsutoshi Tanaka, the film connects two real-life dramas, one in 1890 and the other in 1985, in an epic tale of two countries bound by tragedy, heroism and a special friendship. The cast includes Seiyo Uchino, Shiori Kitsuna, Kenan Ece, Rino Kawase, Naota Takenaka, Alican Yuesoy, Takashi Sasano and Ayako Kobayashi.
The Ertugrul was a sailing frigate warship of the Ottoman Empire’s navy. On June 3, 1890, while returning home from a goodwill meeting between the Ottoman sultan and the emperor of Japan, the ship encountered a massive typhoon, drafted onto a reef and sank in the tiny fishing bay of Kii Oshima Island, off the Wakayama coastline.
Despite the rescue efforts of the poor fishing village residents, the Meiji-era maritime disaster resulted in the loss of 533 sailors. The 69 survivors were rescued and cared for by the villagers and later returned to Turkey through donations and relief efforts by the Empire of Japan. The kindness and unwavering sacrifice of the villagers would one day repaid by the people of Turkey.
The film received 10 nominations at the 39th Japan Academy Awards, including best film, best screenplay and best director.
Screenings are free and open to the public. Parking is available in the church lot. For more information, call (310) 479-1379 or visit www.wlaumc.com.