Kim LONGINOTTO, Jano WILLIAMS
Dream Girls is a fascinating documentary about a famous Japanese theatre troupe, Takarazuka, which has a seventy-five year history. Contrary to traditional Japanese theater like the all-male cast Kabuki theater, the members of Takarazuka are all women. The main plot of the Takarazuka Revue, reminiscent of Broadway musicals of Cabaret shows, is perfect romance, impossible to realize in reality. The audience is comprised mostly of women of all ages, and the popularity of the actress in the male role surpasses that of mainstream pop stars.
The film goes over the surface of the Takarazuka cult, revealing the structural contradictions that are present in staging the female fantasy of ‘perfect romance.’ We can only reach the fantastic world of Takarazuka revue with the aid of western objects, the notion of heterosexual love, women stars cast in men’s roles and Japanese-style modern rules. By interweaving the brilliant Takarazuka scenes onstage and interviews with the audience and the stars offstage, Dream Girls makes us once again question issues of gender and sexual identity, the escapism of the female audience, the contradictions facing present Japanese women and how Japan, as a representative of the East, views the culture of the West. Called the Japanese version of Paris is Burning, Dream Girls was awarded Best Documentary Award at the 11th Creteil Women’s Film Festival. (Kwon Eun-Sun)
Kim LONGINOTTOKim LONGINOTTO
One of the foremost documentary filmmakers working today, Kim LONGINOTTO is renowned internationally for her compelling human portraits and her sensitive and compassionate treatment of unknown topics. Her films have won international acclaim, including the World Cinema Jury Prize in Documentary at Sundance Film Festival for Rough Aunties . Highlights include perhaps one of her best known works, Sisters in Law(2005), winner of a 2008 Peabody Award and two Cannes Awards; Pink Saris (2010) won Sepecial Jury Prize in Sheffield Doc Fest.
Jano WILLIAMSJano WILLIAMS
After majoring in sociology at Leeds University in UK, Williams moved to Tokyo and worked for the press (NHK) for 13 years. She returned to the UK in 1987 and stayed at Wales where she currently works as a simultaneous interpreter and studies Japanese calligraphy. She made Dream Girls> and Synjuku Boys (1995), Gaeas Girls (2000) with Kim Longinotto.