Challenge to Puccini—Takao Okamura: A Life Dedicated to Opera(Puccini ni idomu Okamura Takao no opera jinsei)
JAPAN / 2012 / Japanese, Italian / Color / Blu-ray / 88 min
Director: Iizuka Toshio
Photography: Takao Takashi
Construction, Editing: Nabeshima Jun
Sound: Endo Kano
Narration: Baisho Chieko
Sound Design: Sonoda Yoshinobu
Producers: Iizuka Toshio, Nakano Rie
Production Company: Amour
World Sales: Pandora
Okamura Takao (82) moved to Europe when he was 28 years old and lived there for 20 years, despite struggling with its lack of understanding of Japanese culture. In time, he fulfills a long-cherished desire to revise the libretto of “Madam Butterfly” (an opera that misinterprets Japanese culture) and brings it to Italy––the home of opera. However, Okamura encounters an enormous wall of Italian operatic tradition, which stands in his way.
Iizuka Tpshio joined Ogawa Productions while a student at Tohoku University, making his directorial debut with A Movie Capital (1991, YIDFF’99). He received an Award for Excellence from the Agency for Cultural Affairs for The Sound of Tiny Wings, his first film after turning independent in 1991. His major works include a trilogy on Jomon culture, the first of which is The Kingdom of Wood and Earth, and a video series, The Travels of Sugae Masumi.