Screening and talk show of “The Cats of Mirikitani(Special Edition)”
“The Cats of Mirikitani (Special Edition)”, was screened at the Yokogawa Cinema on Sunday, November 26th at 13:00.
After the screening, Masa Yoshikawa, the producer and the director held a talk show. The interviewer was Ms. Kimura from Gallery G.
This special edition contains two stories, “The Cats of Mirikitani” (2006), and “Remembering Mirikitani” (2016), which was screened for the first time in Hiroshima city.
Mr. Yoshikawa explained the reason of making the second story saying, “There were some facts we found out after the first story and we also wanted more people to watch his film.” Mr. Mirikitani was a Japanese-American born in U.S., but he and his family came back to Japan soon after his birth. Therefore, he grew up in Hiroshima from infancy to 20 years old. He also often wrote in his painting that he is from Hiroshima.
Mr. Yoshikawa told the audience a story about how he had gotten involved with Mr. Mirikitani and that he was told by Director Linda Hattendorf about the first story while they were in the elevator. Director Hattendorf had been already in touch with Mr.Mirikitani for 3 weeks at that time, and she needed a person who knew about Japanese culture and who could translate Japanese, as Mr.Mirikitani often wrote some Japanese sentences in his paintings.
As Ms. Kimura told Mr. Yoshikawa that he resembled Mr.Mirikitani more and more every time she sees him, Mr. Yoshikawa revealed that he is often mistaken to be one of Mr. Mirikitani’s relatives or son. He then drew laughter from audience by saying, “I was even mistaken to be Mr. Mirikitani himself one time in U.S!”
In the Q&A session, an audience member asked about the relationship between Mr. Mirikitani and Director Hattendorf. Mr. Yoshikawa said, “Linda is a really kind person. As they saw each other almost every day, they became trusted friends.” He also said that the reason Director Hattendorf invited Mr. Mirikitani to live with her after 911 was not for filmmaking, but for saving Mr. Mirikitani, who was living on the street at the time, from toxic gas in the air after the collapse of the buildings. In addition, she continued to visit him after the completion of the first story as well, and in Mr. Mirikitani’s last years, she even made a visiting schedule with her friends to check in with him every day. Mr. Yoshikawa said “I think Linda was like a daughter to Mr. Mirikitani.”
After the talk show, audience enjoyed the exhibition of Mr.Mirikitani’s original paintings at “HON TO JIYU”, near the theatre.