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GRM Monthly Documentary Film Event - October

Research & Others

2019/10/24

A documentary film event was held on Thursday, 24 October 2019.
We watched a film, titled
“The Brighton Miracle”


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Date: Thursday, 24 October 2019
Time: 17:30 P.M. - 19:30 P.M
Venue: Meeting Room, Shikokan Building, Karasuma Campus
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■Commentary
Written by Iyas Salim

Sports have an incredible effect on us, and more so perhaps during hard times. While Japan is hosting 2019 Rugby World Cup for the first time in Asia, the devastating typhoon, Hagabis, brought devastation and destruction to the Kanto region in particular during the long weekend of 12,13,14 October. At least 83 people are confirmed dead and eleven others still missing by 20 October. The typhoon brought deadly gusts of winds and torrential rain, brining widespread damage and destruction to infrastructure and homes. Entire neighborhoods found themselves sinking in water as a result of flooded rivers. Are we already living the era of extreme weather and climate change? Many older Japanese people would testify to that; a new strange weather phenomenon has arrived, never seen nor experienced before. 

World Cup organizers waited out the Typhoon and decided to go ahead with the much anticipated game of Japan versus Scotland on Sunday 13 October. The game took place in Tokyo. Across Japan, tens of millions of people watched the game on TV screens. In the city of Kyoto, those restaurants or Pubs showing the game, were crowded with enthusiastic fans. Japan eventually beat Scotland in another epochal rugby battle in a highly anticipated and charged game. The brave blossoms possessed the motivation and enough emotions to show their best; they wanted to lift the spirits of people after the typhoon.

The documentary film, this time around, Bright Miracle, is timely and befitting the occasion. This exceptional story is about Japan beating South Africa during the 2015 Rugby World Cup in Brighton, England. At that time in 2015, Japan rugby team was considered a rugby world joke, known for its 145-17 wipe-out by New Zealand All Blacks in 1995. Japan’s rugby team coach, Australian Eddie Jones, was the beating heart of the film.

Eddie’s sheer determination was a driving force in building up the team, motivated and focused on challenging and breaking past barriers. One memorable quote of Edie Jones is when he told his players, “Go home and apologize to your wives. They’re at home making this possible for you and you put in a bulls—- effort.”

Besides hard work, what is the secret or philosophy behind the change? The film tries to reflect the message of Coach Edie Jones- To have the courage to be yourself. “That what underpinned the victory,” said the film director Mannix.

After watching the film, participants joined in a discussion. Most participants took interest in Rugby only recently, mainly due to Japan hosting the Rugby World Cup this year. One Japanese student said that Rugby seemed to have generated more excitement and interest in Japan than even soccer. Rugby game is really different and interesting, said one student. Another expressed his amazement at the sheer physicality of the game. Now, the Japanese Rugby team is knocked out of the tournament after reaching the stage of best eight. Their run this time is quite impressive, not only for giving it all the hard work, but also for the show of unity and motivation among diverse players of Japanese and players from different backgrounds. Team members joined up for a sport game and beyond, with unity in diversity.