A Viewing of the Film Aru Sendō no Hanashi – The Story of a Boatman

Last year, almost exactly a year ago, I ran across a trailer for a Japanese film called Aru Sendō no Hanashi (ある船頭の話), or A Boatman’s Story, and I wrote a blog post about it that included a link to the film trailer.

Aru Sendō no Hanashi – The Story of a Boatman

I have waited and occasionally searched for a way to view this film or buy a copy of it. Then today, a friend of mine sent me a link to the New York Asian Film Festival, which is screening the U.S. premier of the film, subtitled in english! I thought it odd that it’s been retitled by its tagline to: They Say Nothing Stays the Same

Photo: © 2019 “They Say Nothing Stays the Same” Film Partners

This is a film about an old and lonely Meiji-era boatman in the midst of a changing world. According to the film festival site:

“Set in Meiji era Japan but timeless in its concerns —the sacrifices made in the name of progress, the loss of cherished traditions — it follows a lonely old ferryman (Emoto Akira), whose life is transformed when he rescues a mysterious young woman from drowning.”

I know nothing about Japanese film, but apparently there are many famous actors in it. You can read the rest of the description on the film festival site here: https://www.nyaff.org/nyaff20/films/they-say-nothing-stays-the-same

The film’s one-day screening takes place on Thursday, September 3. You have to purchase the tickets through their site, but the price is only $7.99 for one film.

The catch seems to be that you need to have an iPhone or iPad to watch it (I guess an Android device works too, but I don’t know much about them). If you have a current enough Apple TV box, you can then stream the movie to your larger TV.

I signed up on the website and then downloaded their viewer app to my iPhone, but I had a heck of a time trying to sign in to the newly created account. It finally worked out, but it was a very frustrating process that included a ridiculous race to enter a validation code and type a password on your phone in the 45 seconds they give you (they actually give you 60 seconds, but that includes the time necessary for them to send you the code and for you to retrieve it, which eats away at your diminishing available time).

If you sign up, just be persistent, and you’ll get your phone connected. I did not see a way to view the film on a computer’s web browser, which would be a nice and simple option. It might actually be easiest to download the app first and then purchase your ticket through the app instead of through the website.

For me, all is set up, and I’m looking forward to the movie now – I hope you are too. Ω

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