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Thursday, Feb. 7: "What the Snow Brings"

Blue Mouse Theatre

"WHAT THE SNOW BRINGS": The Tacoma Sister Cities Film festival kicks off Feb. 7 with a Japanese film.

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The 11th annual Sister Cities Film Festival is more than a film festival. It's a cultural exploration of Tacoma's sister cities, of which there are 11 located all around the world. Each Thursday beginning Feb. 7, a film from a sister city lights up the screen of Blue Mouse Theatre - complemented by bonus activities and entertainment. Each week also has its own committee responsible for said entertainment and film selection.

The festival kicks off with Tacoma's oldest sister - Kitakyushu, Japan.

"The Kitakyushu committee will be having the Stadium High School Taiko Drumming group perform," says Debbie Bingham, Sister Cities coordinator. "This will be followed by a briefing on the latest project the committee is working on - rebuilding the Japanese Garden at Point Defiance. Metro Parks staff will talk about this project and show pictures from a recent trip to Kitakyushu to study Japanese garden design."

Festivities start at 6:15 p.m. If an awesome dose of world culture isn't your thing, then get your lame self to Blue Mouse by 7 p.m. for the Japanese film, What the Snow Brings. The plot follows formerly successful Manabu Yazaki after he has lost his remaining cash on an older racing draft horse. After this failure, Manabu seeks out his estranged brother, who agrees to let him stay if Manabu works as a stable hand. The characters - right on down to the aging draft horse Unryu - are remarkably complex and intriguing. The film has won awards left and right, including Best Director and Actor at the 18th Tokyo International Film Festival.

Tickets are $10 via Brown Paper Tickets, or $80 for the full nine-week festival.

BLUE MOUSE THEATRE, THURSDAY, FEB. 7, 6:15 P.M., $10, $80 PASS, 2611 N. PROCTOR ST., TACOMA, 253.752.9500

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