How do you give gifts on Christmas? I know of people who spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars on the latest "it" bag or wallet. Or how they give the latest techy gadget to their loved one. I am definitely not one of those people.
This year, I gifted my better half with a movie that somehow had a touch of Hawaii in it since he hasn't been home in a while. It's a film called "Hula Girls"- directed by Korean Japanese filmmaker, Sang Il Lee.
Based on a true story, this movie takes place in 1965. The coal mining industry is slowing down, so in order to keep the local economy of Iwaki afloat, the coal mining company decided to turn their property into a leisure resort called the Joban Hawaiian Center. They needed dancers for their hula troupe, so they hired washed up Tokyo dancer Madoka Hirayama to train the local girls, all coal miners daughters, to do the hula.
This lovely film, even if I found it a tad dramatic, was beautifully scored by Hawaii's ukulele virtuoso himself, Jake Shimabukuro. I highly suggest any Japanophile or lover of anything Hawaii to buy this DVD and enjoy the film. The pleasant Yu Aoi plays the lead dancer, Kimiko. I know she's also in Honokaa Boy, another Japanese film shot in Hawaii.
Check out the official website!