Miwa: A Japanese Icon

Miwa: A Japanese Icon

France, 2011, 65 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Japan
Genre/Subjects: Asian / Pacific Islander, Documentary, Gay, Gender, Gender Queer, Theater / Performance Art, Transgender
Programs: Documentaries, Transgender Film Focus

DIRECTOR: Pascal-Alex Vincent

World Premiere

In 1968, a Japanese detective film was released called Black Lizard—it went on to be come a cult classic. The main character was an enchanting screen presence who captured the hearts of the Japanese public: Akihiro Miwa.

A legendary entertainer and a pioneer of gay activism, Miwa was born Akihiro Maruyama. As a young singer, Miwa popularized androgyny as a fashion statement, fusing the masculine and the feminine into a signal of a new generation of aesthetics. This evolved into performing as a woman and living off-stage as a man. With glitter, wit, evening gowns, and enchanting storytelling, Miwa looks back over a 50-year career and a fascinating life in music, film and television (Miwa was a friend and lover of author Yukio Mishima).

At the time of the documentary, Miwa is selling out performances one-man show “L’Amour.” Having sold millions of records and drawing amazing crowds to theatres, Miwa continues to fight for gay rights, among other issues. This documentary by Pascal-Alex Vincent (Give Me Your Hand, Frameline33) reveals the life story of this wonderful performer and societal critic who has an eye for identifying hypocrisy. Miwa remains incredibly popular in a country where contradictions permeate life.

Text Voting Code: D316

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