Diary date: An evening of NHK World TV documentaries


Keep the evening of Monday 10th April free because NHK WORLD TV, the 24-hour international English-language channel from Japan’s public service broadcaster, are screening a double bill of documentaries.

The documentaries are being screened at the Curzon cinema in Bloomsbury in London and tickets are free but booking essential. Here’s what to expect on the evening:

What You Taught Me About My Son (59mins)

The inspiring story of friendship between a Japanese boy with autism and an acclaimed British author.

In 2007 thirteen-year-old Naoki Higashida wrote a book of essays called The Reason I Jump (which I’ve reviewed on this blog). Naoki was diagnosed with autism at the age of five and the book offers remarkable insights into his inner world, challenging popular misconceptions. The book was discovered by British author David Mitchell, who felt that his own autistic son was speaking to him through Naoki’s words. David translated the book into English to help other families living with autism – it became an international bestseller, sold in over 30 countries. What You Taught Me About My Son follows David on a journey to Japan to meet Naoki for the first time. As their friendship develops, we meet other parents with autistic children around the world and hear how their relationships have been transformed by Naoki’s extraordinary words.

Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki (70mins)

A behind-the-scenes documentary about the Oscar-winning animator and co-founder of Studio Ghibli

In 2013, Oscar-winning film director and animator, Hayao Miyazaki, suddenly announced his retirement at the age of 72. But after an encounter with young CGI artists, the director of Spirited Away decided to embark on a new artistic endeavour. This candid documentary follows Miyazaki as he crafts his first CGI film in an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait filmed over two years. Miyazaki – who believes hand-drawing on paper is fundamental to animation – confronts many tough challenges on the project and, at one point, the film even faces the threat of being cancelled. Never-Ending Man provides a rare opportunity to see one of the world’s most celebrated filmmakers at work. This is the first time a feature-length version of this NHK WORLD TV documentary will be screened in UK.

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