24 Jun - After its critical success following its release in early 2020, it was revealed that the award-winning Malaysian film, "The Garden of Evening Mists" will be making its debut in Japan.
The English-language movie, based on the 2012 English-language novel of the same name by Man Asian Literary Prize winner and Malaysian writer Tan Twan Eng, is set to premiere in Shibuya, Japan on 24 July.
Tom Lin, director of the said movie, expressed, "I am very delighted to hear that 'The Garden of Evening Mists' will finally be released in Japan. Although all three of my previous films have had Japan releases, I am most excited and nervous about this one. A forbidden romance set in a turbulent time, 'The Garden of Evening Mists' is a film about a heavy subject matter, but it also carries a strong message of love, compassion and redemption."
"For me, this film is truly a labour of love, and I hope you will all be very moved by this story," he added.
The movie stars Malaysian actress Angelica Lee (also known as Lee Sinje) as Teoh Yun Ling, a young law graduate embittered from the atrocities of World War II in Malaya, who seeks solace amongst the tea plantations in Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, a Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner, the mysterious Nakamura Aritomo, whose help she eventually seeks to create a garden in memory of her late sister, who died in the Japanese war camp. He offers to teach her the art of Japanese gardening and over time, Yun Ling and Aritomo embark on a forbidden love affair.
Hiroshi Abe, the Japanese star of said movie, stated that he was attracted to the project as soon as he read the script and finding out that his character was a gardener in a Japanese garden.
"As it is a culture that expresses the spirituality of Japan, I actually received direct guidance from a gardener, a carver and a tea ceremony teacher. Aritomo's character may be mysterious, but he had a kind of aesthetic like Bushido and he was very empathetic as a Japanese. In that sense, I felt a sense of closeness and it was an easy character to play for me. The director has shared with me that this is not a normal war film that simply portrays the bad and good people. It is a love story where people with war-torn hearts understand and forgive each other through love. I would like you all to watch this film by all means."
The film, which also co-stars Taiwanese actress Sylvia Chang as the older Yun Lin, English actor Julian Sands, and Singaporean star Tan Kheng Hua, previously premiered at the 24th Busan Film Festival, the 16th Hong Kong Asian Film Festival, and was the closing film at the 56th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival.
It also won Best Makeup & Costume Design at the 56th Golden Horse Awards in 2019, and is the first Malaysian film to receive a whopping 9 nominations at the same awards.