The movie about a life of the Deaf, titled "A Yuzuriha" (Daphniphyllum macropodum), was first shown at Tokyo in June last year, being shown again at the same movie theater until June 18.
Within one year the movie has attracted more than 150,000 viewers at 516 movie theaters in the whole country. For Kentaro Hayase (37) , a Deaf-born director, it was an unexpected smash hit.
He explains, "Even if a hearing person sees the movie, he will see there is not much difference about being Deaf. In the end he will feel sympathized." The movie is about two Deaf men; one is the middle-aged man who loses a sweetheart and refuses to show his feelings. Another is the young, impertinent man who behaves like a hearing man, aiming at an actor.
The middle-aged man sees the young man and other persons with disabilities, attempting to record the discrimination abolition movement by film making which was once his dream.
Almost all the actors are Deaf persons. Eri Imai, who casts as one of the main characters, is a hearing singer and has a Deaf son.
Kentaro is the manager of a private cramming school for the Deaf children. A Deaf boy asked him, "The people appear in a television are all hearing. Even if I don't hear, can I grow up?". To answer the question, Kentaro has begun real film making in 2001. "A Yuzuriha" was his first movie shown at a theater.
He says, "This movie was to give the viewers a chance to know how the Deaf people live a life. I would like to make film again about the Deaf who challenge the barrier because of deafness".
A preview: "A Yuzuriha" (Daphniphyllum macropodum) Japanese version