IMPHAL, June 27 � Manipur will witness the world premiere of Japanese filmmaker Junichi Kajioka�s 30-minute film �Imphal 1944� at the end of the closing ceremony of the 70th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Imphal (World War II), here tomorrow.
The film, inspired by a true story of a Japanese war veteran Masao Hirakubo, OBE (Order of the British Empire), who fought in the battle of Imphal and Kohima (between March 8-July 3, 1944), is dedicated to the people who lost their lives in the war.
The film which was entirely shot in UK, carries the message of reconciliation and peace between old enemies, Director Kajioka said. Later, the film, about Manipur and its people who helped the soldiers, even helping many of them survive the battle, will be shown at other International film festivals, said Kajioka during a media interaction here on Friday.
Kajioka said that he wanted to shoot the film in Manipur but he couldn�t do it due to limited budget. �But the film was named as Imphal 1944 as an effort to introduce Imphal to a wider audience,� he said.
Hirakubo returned home to Yokohama in 1946 after the war ended, but found his home destroyed by Allied bombing. He then went to London and rebuilt his life and founded the Burma campaign to initiate peace. He died in 2008 at the age of 88. Kajioka, who researched and wrote the story, was touched by Hirakubo�s words.