Celebrating Pride Month: Japanese LGBTQ Films with JFT

Celebrate Pride Month with screenings of Japanese LGBTQ films supported by The Japan Foundation, Toronto!
These three films take audiences on a journey through the history of queer representation in Japanese cinema, from the 1960s to the present.


A Piece of Our Life -Kakera- • カケラ

Friday, June 10, 5:59PM – Sunday, June 12, 11:59PM (ET)
Directed by ANDO Momoko | 2009 | 107 minutes | Japanese with English subtitles
Online Film Screening (Canada only) | Admission Free | RSVP Required (register below to receive a viewing link)

College student Haru (MITSUSHIMA Hikari) is stuck in an unfulfilling relationship with a boyfriend that’s just not right for her. One day, Rico (NAKAMURA Eriko), a “medical artist” who makes prosthetic body parts, strikes up a conversation with her. Rico believes that gender has nothing to do with love. The two quickly become intimately involved.

The directorial debut of the award-winning ANDO Momoko, A Piece of Our Life -Kakera- is a free adaptation of Erica Sakurazawa’s manga about a lesbian love affair and boasts a soundtrack by former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James IHA. 

A Japan Foundation, Toronto event. A part of our Celebrating Women in Film series.

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Midnight Swan • ミッドナイトスワン

Sunday, June 19, 7:00PM (ET)
Directed by UCHIDA Eiji | 2020 | 124 minutes | Japanese with English subtitles
On-site Film Screening: Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre | Ticketed Admission | Ticket Prices Vary

Nagisa is a transgender woman. Growing up as a man in Hiroshima, Nagisa faced prejudice and was ostracized by society. She moves to Tokyo where she works as a dancer in a nightclub. Her distant niece, Ichika is a middle school student neglected by her mother. After being kicked out of her home, Ichika travels to Tokyo and starts living with Nagisa and pursues ballet. Although initially reluctant, Nagisa takes care of Ichika and starts to develop maternal feelings for her for the first time.

This powerful and heartrending film features shattering performances by its two leads and shines a light on the struggles faced by the LGBTQ community in Japan. Winner of the 2021 Japanese Academy Awards for Best Film, Best Lead Performance and Best Newcomer.

A Toronto Japanese Film Festival event, co-presented with the Japan Foundation, Toronto.

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Girls of the Night • 女ばかりの夜

Sunday, June 19, 7:30PM (ET)
Directed by TANAKA Kinuyo | 1961 | 93 minutes | Japanese with English subtitles
On-site Film Screening: TIFF Bell Lightbox | Ticketed Admission | Ticket Prices Vary | 4K Restoration

Released just three years after Japan’s abolition of state-regulated prostitution, TANAKA Kinuyo revisits and recasts the subject of panpan explored in her first film and reunites with screenwriter TANAKA Sumie, who wrote Forever a Woman. Shot in widescreen “TohoScope” in inky black and white, Girls of the Night is a bracing portrait of former sex workers detained in correctional centres meant to prepare them for reintegration into society. 

Having herself played contrasting roles for Mizoguchi and Ozu as a woman forced into sex work, Tanaka offers a multivalent view of sex work in a film, which also remarkably includes one of the first queer roles in Japanese cinema.

A TIFF Cinematheque event, promotional support provided by the Japan Foundation, Toronto. A part of The Moon is Finally Rising: The Films of Kinuyo Tanaka.

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