“Friday Night at the Movies” begins Season 9 of screening thoughtful Japanese films selected for viewing pleasure. Watch and enjoy the collaborative nature of Japan’s history, traditions and culture through award-winning contemporary, documentary and rare classic films.
The screenings take place on the last Friday of each month at 7 :30 p.m. at West Los Angeles United Methodist Church, 1913 Purdue Ave., Los Angeles.
Jan. 25: “The Eternal Zero” or “Eien no Zero” (2015, 144 minutes), directed by Takashi Yamazaki. Based on a novel by Naoki Kyakuta, still Japan’s all-time top-selling mass-market paperback, this film captured the 38th Japan Academy Award for Picture of the Year as well as numerous international film festival prizes.
Yamazaki tells the story of a brother and sister who learn their grandfather was a kamikaze pilot who died in the Pacific during World War II. During their research into his life, they get conflicting accounts abut his character from his comrades, such as how and why he joined the aerial Special Forces Unit.
Their grandfather had an astute ability as an ace fighter pilot but was called “genius coward” by his squadron peers. The siblings uncover a surprising fact about him that had been sealed for 60 years.
The cast includes Junichi Okada, Isao Natsuyagi, Min Tanaka, Isao Hashizumi, Haruma Miura, Mao Inoue and Jun Fukuba.
Free admission. For more information on this and other church programs, call (310) 479-1379 or visit www.wlaumc.com.