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‘Fukushima, Mon Amour’ at German Currents Film Festival

Rosalie Thomass and Kaori Momoi in a scene from Doris Dörrie's “Fukushima, Mon Amour.”

Rosalie Thomass and Kaori Momoi in a scene from Doris Dörrie’s “Fukushima, Mon Amour.”

Doris Dörrie’s award-winning feature “Fukushima, Mon Amour,” starring Rosalie Thomass and Kaori Momoi, will have its Los Angeles premiere on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, as part of the German Currents Film Festival.

Desperate to move past the heartbreak of her broken engagement, a young German woman, Marie (Thomass), joins the charity circus troupe Clowns4help and travels to Japan, hoping to bring joy to the elderly survivors of the 2011 nuclear disaster still living in emergency shelters. Burdened by her own problems, and panicked by the devastation in Fukushima, Marie finds herself ill-suited to bring joy to others whose hardships she cannot imagine.

Just as she decides to leave Japan, Marie encounters Satomi (Momoi), Fukushima’s last geisha, who is determined to return to her home in the radioactive exclusion area. Rather than retreating, Marie stays, electing to help Satomi rebuild her life. Though initially very different, the two find themselves united in the need to confront the ghosts of their respective pasts.

Thomass’ “fish out of water” comedic timing blends perfectly with Momoi’s resourceful performance as the wise-cracking, aging geisha. Infusing both characters and script with her trademark tragically comedic style, writer-director Dörrie, shooting for the first time exclusively in Japan and in black and white, brings a refreshingly offbeat perspective to an otherwise emotionally heavy subject.

The cast also includes Mosche Cohen and Nami Kamata. In German and Japanese with English subtitles. Momoi, whose other credits include “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Sukiyaki Western Django” and the upcoming “Ghost in the Shell,” will appear in person.

Dörrie completed her film studies at Academy for TV and Film in Munich. One of Germany’s best-known filmmakers, she is as unconventional and determined as the characters in her films. Her long-time interest in Zen Buddhism has also found its way into her storytelling, setting three other feature films Japan.

Tickets are $11 general, $9 for seniors, students and friends of Goethe, $7 for Cinematheque members. For more information, call (323) 525-3388 or email

Double feature with “24 Weeks,” which starts at approximately 9:30 p.m. Ticket price includes admission to both films.

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