Festival organizers brought the strange dark comedy “A Beautiful Star” from director Daihachi Yoshida for the first time in the U.S.

Based off of the 1962 novel by Yukio Mishima, the film followed the Osugi family as unusual revelations began to complex their relationships. The head of the family Juichiro Osugi (Lily Franky, “The Boy and the Beast”) was a prominent weather man who was in an affair with a younger co-worker. The two were leaving the hotel when a bright light suddenly dashed into them and Juichiro woke up inside his car in the middle of the field. He tried to figure out what happened but when he asked his lover, she had no recollection of that night nor their hidden relationship. It was when he ran into another worker who looked for UFOs that he felt something was different about him. The weather itself also acted weirdly by bringing in a summer-like heat wave during winter. He realized that he was a Martian and had a mission from the planetary alliance to make the Earthlings rethink their current lifestyles in order to help their ailing planet. As Juichiro made attempts through the camera, agents within his family had their own objectives to complete.

The movie broke itself off into four different storylines happening at the same time, Juichiro’s path as the main one while each of his family members (wife, daughter and son) were subplots and vantage points that all came together in its conclusion. While there were some hilarious moments, it was a serious film about a fighting chance of redemption for both humans and the planet. It was interesting how through extraterrestrial beings, the flaws of a person and shown along with something the family lost for some time. Yoshida and his creative team brought the Cold War novel as a 21st century tale, shifting the Earth’s great threat from nuclear arms to global warming. Most of the key points from Mishima’s book stayed the same, but it was fitting that Juichiro was a celebrity in order for him to have more agency to spread his message and cause a bit of havoc. These upgrades brought the original up to a level that was palpable to the audience of current times.

To read more on the film and check out some similar recommendations, visit the San Diego Asian Film Festival’s page. Follow Pacific Arts Movement to find out what other events they will be hosting.