a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Tobe! Dakota / 飛べ! ダコタ

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250px-Tobe_Dakota-p01Tobe! Dakota, Seiji Aburanti’s sentimental re-enactment of a somewhat true story about a British military plane’s forced landing near a village on Sadogashima in 1946 travels a cinematically clichéd route to its forced happy ending. Luckily, the war’s over, or there would have been hell to pay. But in this movie the backward villagers lose their fear and suspicion of the namban interlopers through the work of do-gooders on both sides – Chiyoko (Manami Higa), daughter of the town’s ryokan and Captain Bradley (Mark Chinnery), who can’t seem to say thank you enough to the villagers, whom he somehow cons into building an airstrip on the beach so he and his crew can get the hell out. Conflict is provided by David (Dean Newcombe), the racist who learns to love the Japanese -he even likes sushi by the end! – and young (and lame!) Kenichi (Masataka Kubota), whose wartime grudge melts as he finally gives into the goodness of the British way. It’s a welcome sayonara when the repaired plane takes off into the CGI sunset.

Originally published in EL Magazine, October 2013.

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

October 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm

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