SAKE-BOMB (watch video clip)
Yes, it was worth going all the way out to Hawaii Kai Theatre (on the bus!) for the screening of Sake Bomb, at the HIFF, October 15. This hilarious Asian comedy is a blend of Asians joking about Asians and poking fun at common stereotypes, as well as jokes about specifically American stereotypes and American perceptions of Asians. Yes, it’s just a lot of stereotypes and it’s right on target.
The story is about the Japanese sake maker Naoto (Gaku Hamada), who travels from Japan to the U.S. He wants to find his lost love, an American teacher he had a love affair with some months earlier in Japan. In the States he meets his Japanese-American cousin, Sebastian (played by Eugene Kim), a rude and self-deprecating video blogger. Sebastian is not very happy when he has to take his naïve cousin on a road-trip along the Californian coast.
The movie contains a lot of cultural clashes including sex, love and alcohol. (Sake bomb is by the way the name of a drink, where you drop a sake shot into a beer). The movie reveals a lot of prejudices, preconceptions and stereotypes. Sometimes it’s really harsh, and the filmmakers are balancing on a thin line of being racist, but since the comedy makes fun of both parts (Asians and Americans), I don’t think anyone in the theatre took offense.
For me as a Swede, it’s fun to discover that the singer and songwriter Jun Elding, also known as Little Viking, who plays her song SOS in the movie, is based in Stockholm, Sweden. One of her three solo albums is also named STHLM.
Sake-Bomb was directed by Junya Sakino and the editor and screenwriter Jeff Mizushima was awarded with the Best Screenplay, at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2013.