Japan-based Malaysian filmmaker completes his Osaka trilogy selected for Tokyo International Film Festival


'Fly Me To Minami', is the second film in Lim Kah Kai's Osaka trilogy. Photo: JFF

Japan-based Malaysian filmmaker Lim Kah Kai shares his dream of a better future in a new world "where cherry blossom trees will always be in full bloom” in Come And Go, the final instalment of his trilogy set against the backdrop of Japan’s second-largest city of Osaka.

Come And Go, a continuation of his two previous movies New World and Fly Me To Minami made 10 years ago, is Lim’s most ambitious movie so far and it depicts the struggles of local and foreign workers as they strive to achieve their dreams in a country facing a boom in its tourism, film and even halal industries.

Lim is very excited as the film has been selected to be presented at the 33rd Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), which will take place from Oct 31 until Nov 9.

"The festival is an opportunity for me to showcase my film to the Japanese audience (on the big screen) since most cinemas in Japan have reopened after the easing of the lockdown imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic, ” he told Bernama in an interview recently.

Lim had returned to Kuala Lumpur for Chinese New Year in January this year and was "stranded” in the country following the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March.

He returned to Osaka, where he is now mostly based, earlier this month.

Lim, 47, graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from Osaka University in 1998. He worked in Tokyo for six years before quitting his job to study directing at the Beijing Film Academy in China.

He has so far made eight films, including the trilogy. Lim won the Audience and Technical Contribution Award by Cineastes Organisation Osaka for the first instalment of his trilogy New World which is based on a Chinese tourist’s experiences of a Japan she has never known before and is set against Osaka’s history and charm.

Come And Go, which is vying for the audience award at TIFF, features eight stories – filmed against the backdrop of the mesmerising beauty of the brief cherry blossom season – and 14 principal pan-Asian characters hailing from Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Japan.

The movie depicts their struggle to find solace in the business district of Umeda in contemporary Osaka where they work but all of them share the same dream of a better future.

"That’s the reality of life (now) as people, irrespective of whether they are Japanese or foreigners, grow more introverted and obstructive without any care for political issues or other issues affecting society as their main aim is to make more money.

"We live in a parallel world since we all have our own problems and our own lives, ” he explained. – Bernama

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