Approximately 10 hours flight from Tokyo, Finland is the closest European country from Japan. gKamome Dinerhwas shot and born there. Known for its midnight sun, Helsinki is a seaport in which seagulls fly and passenger liners come and go. Small, but with presence, Kamome Diner (ruokala lokki)\run by Japanese woman Sachie\stands in the cityfs street corner. The film unfolds at this diner, while highlighting people who are more than eager to give a hand to each otherfs vital soul.
The story is based on a novel written by popular writer Yoko Mure who has countless female fans for her emotional portrayal of people living a modest life. Mure wrote the full-length novel in response to the filmfs idea for production.
Itfs an unusual novel, which fully captures the atmosphere of the cityfs street corner, although Mure herself has never been to Finland.
Directing the film is Naoko Ogigami, who challenges her third feature film with this film. Expectations are high for this young director who received A Special Mention at the Kinderfilmfest of Berlin International Film Festival in 2003 for her film gYoshinofs Barber Shoph, which vividly portrays the glee of boys living in a small rural village.
Almost all the crew gathered to shoot gKamome Dinerh is Finnish, including cinematographer Tuomo Virtanen.
Ogigamifs experience of over a month, in a film set surrounded by benevolent Finnish staff where both Japanese and Finnish were used, has made her even stronger.
The actual shooting began in the latter half of the season of the midnight sun. The amazingly beautiful, poetic visuals of the first Japanese film to be shot entirely in Finland also convey the Finnish crewfs affection toward their country.
Playing Sachie, the shopkeeper at Kamome Diner is actress Satomi Kobayashi. Her magnificent acting skills and her refined sensuality is at full in the film. Her appearance blends in most beautifully with Helsinkifs landscape. In addition, therefs Hairi Katagirifs overwhelming presence and delicate acting in her role as Midori
not to mention Masako Motaifs quiet yet powerful and tolerant performance as Masako. gKamome Dinerh has created a remarkable trio that will most likely be remembered in film history.
Other than the three actresses, all the actors in the film including Markku Peltola who stars in Aki Kaurismakifs representative film gMies Vailla Menneisyyttah (The Man Without a Past) are Finnish. Their presences add even more color to the film.
And the gonigirih (rice balls), cinnamon rolls and gshoga-yakih (roasted pork with ginger) that highlight the film so
oftenc The visuals tell us that these menus are made with heart, enhancing the joy of eating food.
The music that closes the film is Yosui Inouefs exquisite song, gCrazy Love.h The song, which carries lifefs sorrow and freedom, echoes throughout the filmfs closing moments.
gPeople\they all changeh
This story, which unfolds toward these words of Sachie, is packed with a peaceful, comfortable feeling of happiness.