Revered veteran of the silver screen Bennet Guillory (The Color Purple) delivers a career-defining performance as Daniel Holder, a grieving father struggling to come to terms with the sudden loss of his estranged son Mickey. Driven by a desperate desire to hold on to what little remains of his son, Daniel travels into the heart of a culture he does not understand on a mission to collect a series of paintings left behind by Mickey. His journey – fueled by bitterness and regret – quickly uncovers shocking truths that bring an already-broken man to his knees. Will Daniel succumb to the hatred that has poisoned his heart, or will he embrace the spirit of Mickey’s existence and forgive the unforgivable?
Harimaya Bridge (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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Daniel Holder hates Japanese people because of an outcome of World War II that personally affected him. He is infuriated when his son Mickey accepts a teaching job in Japan. Then unexpectedly, while father and son are estranged, Mickey dies. Full of regrets and anger, Mr. Holder goes reluctantly to Japan to collect his son's belongings. There he learns that Mickey left behind a legacy as an accomplished artist and a beloved friend and teacher. Combined with the wisdom and compassion of two women he meets on his journey, this legacy helps Mr. Holder come to terms with his son's life choices, and with his own prejudice. "There are better, more important ways to identify with people than color of skin," says Noriko, Mickey Holder's widow. "That's what Mickey always said."
In the aftermath of the terrible earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, the whole world now has a sense of how much the Japanese value cooperation and consideration for others. This film leaves viewers with a refreshed feeling that people can talk out their differences and come away with mutual respect. The Harimaya Bridge is presented in English and Japanese, with English subtitles.
Aaron Woolfolk, the director, calls the film his "love letter to Japan." It is based on his own experiences there. This award-winning film was produced by Danny Glover, who plays a supporting role. Ben Guillory plays the leading role. If you are a fan of Japanese movies and/or taigadorama (historical dramas), you will recognize Misa Shimizu from "The Sea is Watching" (Akira Kurosawa's last screenplay) and Saki Takaoka (from the Fuji TV series "Ooku.") I only wish there had been more flashbacks to the character played by Victor Grant; Mickey Holder, the soulful artist who found a deep connection with the natural beauty of Japan and its people.
Now that I'd seen it, I can say that The Harimaya Bridge is a very deep & emotional movie. It deals with issues that will limit its appeal to the American mainstream, but for those with an open mind, this is worth watching.
The movie's about Daniel Holder, a photographer with a strong hatred for the Japanese- mainly due to of the death of his father in a Japanese POW camp during WWII. But it wasn't just the death of his dad that created his hatred, but accounts of how he died. So when his son Mickey announced his plans to go there to teach English, father & son got into a heated debate which resulted in Daniel putting hands on his grown son. While living there, Mickey dies in an accident. Daniel later finds out while living there his son made some paintings & was married to Noriko, a Japanese woman who was at the funeral. After going to a concert being given by a once distraught father who found solace in having his late daughter's compositions performed, Daniel decides to go to Japan to get his son's final paintings for the same propose. He ends up spending a great deal of the film searching for the mysterious Noriko who disappeared shortly after returning to Japan. Upon finally finding her, he finds out that his late son has left something much more valuable than just paintings. What that is...I'm not going to spoil it, but it changes Daniel's outlook & will force him to deal with his prejudices.Read more ›
Woolfolk, a former JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program) participant who lived in Japan for many years and taught in Kochi Prefecture is known for his short film "Rage!" which won a Director's Guild of America Award. He won an award for his screenplay "The Harimaya Bridge" in which he received a Walt Disney Studios/ABC Entertainment Talent Development Grant and in 2008, production began on "The Bridge of Harimaya". Woolfolk would become the first African-American to shoot a feature film in Japan and the film would receive rave reviews.
"The Harimaya Bridge" is presented in 1080p High Definition. For the most part, the film looks very good as skin tones are natural. But once you get to the filming in Japan, I found the scenery to be breathtaking. On Blu-ray, the details on the shrine and the areas that Noriko visited, to see the detail on the wood and also just the overall vibrance of the red Harimaya Bridge, it looked beautiful in HD.
And I have to say that where many films are shot in Kanto and Kansai region, it was great to watch a film by an American filmmaker going to an area like Kochi, smaller villages that have been around for over a thousand years and capturing it on camera. Granted, its thanks to Woolfolk having taught in the area but with so many films shot in the concrete jungle of Japan, it was refreshing to see one shot in the countryside and capturing the overall scenery and ambiance. I'm a sucker for beautiful scenery and on Blu-ray, the film looked fantastic!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great film. I have it in both the Japanese region and now the American region format. I really enjoyed it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by ojisanbob
Even without knowing in advance that filmmaker Aaron Woolfolk was heavily inspired by the legendary director Akira Kurosawa, something about his debut feature THE HARIMAYA BRIDGE... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Professor XXL
This film considers so many misconceptions and possibilities we are
prone to dismiss rather than engage seriously: cultural shock, stereotypes, racism, egocentric... Read more
I had just finished watching this movie on blu-ray and it was a very nice and touching film. A film about love and relationship between families of two different races, from... Read morePublished on May 13, 2013 by Jose Bendol Jr
"The Harimaya Bridge" is a film about life and love across racial lines. It's an international co-production and the feature debut of a young African-American filmmaker named... Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by J. Doughrity
If you are foreigner who happens to live in Kochi, Shikoku Japan, then you will surely appreciate this movie. Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by Johnkenny