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Movie by foreign youths in Japan explores isolation and longing in a different culture

An audience watches a film produced by the group Rainbow Space, in Yokohama's Naka Ward, on Nov. 23, 2021. (Mainichi/Nao Ikeda)

YOKOHAMA -- A self-produced movie by Rainbow Space, a group run by young people with connections to foreign countries, which explores various emotions the young experience including a longing for love, was screened at Port Opening Memorial Hall in this city's Naka Ward on Nov. 23.

    At the center of "Koi ga shitai" (I want to fall in love) are three characters including a high school girl who came to Japan from China. She is filled with anxiety from the trouble she has communicating due to her Japanese language ability, and begins to develop feelings for a male friend in China she keeps in touch with. She tells him how she feels, but he does not reciprocate. Through her interactions with friends, she realizes that she was looking for someone to affirm her existence. She starts to think about what she should do to live as her true self, regardless of nationality or language.

    Rainbow Space was launched in 2017 by a group of youths who were foreign nationals or had parents from other countries. In 2019, it produced the film, "Koyojisei: Watashi rashiku ikiru koto" (Living toward the sun: What it means to live my own life), which explores the daily conflicts confronted by a high schooler who moved to Japan from China, and the discoveries they made in encounters with new friends.

    According to Rainbow Space member Lin Jinyuan, 26, there are many young people with connections to foreign countries who say they "want to fall in love," and she suspects that isolation and loneliness in their everyday lives foster "a tendency for people to look toward romance, which is something that easily satisfies one's emotions." She also said, "Through the film, I'd like people to empathize with the various emotions one can have."

    For the time being, there are no plans for another screening of the group's latest film. For more information, contact Naka International Lounge at 045-210-0667.

    (Japanese original by Nao Ikeda, Yokohama Bureau)

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