After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, many Japanese-Americans faced extreme prejudice in their own neighborhoods and were routinely made to feel unsafe. The new film “Sophie and the Rising Sun,” based on the 2001 novel Augusta Trobaugh by the same name, follows a romance between Sophie Willis (Julianne Nicholson), a native of Salty Creek, South Carolina, and the mysterious wounded stranger Mr. Ohta (Takashi Yamaguchi). As their secret relationship evolves, the war escalates and soon bigotry and violence sweep through the town, but just then Sophie and her two compatriot risk their lives to protect Ohta. The film co-stars Character Margo Martindale (“The Hours”), Lorraine Toussaint (“Selma”), Diane Ladd (“Chinatown”), Joel Murray (“Mad Men”) and more. Watch an exclusive trailer below.
The film is written and directed by Maggie Greenwald and is largely produced by women. On the topic of having women in key roles of production, Greenwald says that the gender unity on the film “just happened.”
“The book was brought to me by our producers,Nancy Dickenson and Lorraine Gallard,” she continues. “Brenda Goodman was a natural choice when it was time to hire a producer because she’d recommended me to them…But I have to say, it was like coming home. I’ve worked with many terrific men throughout my career. But throughout the process of making this film, there was an understanding of our characters that never needed explaining. There was never a moment when I had to say, ‘Well she wouldn’t do that because….’ We all got it.”
“Sophie and the Rising Sun” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past January. It will open in select theaters nationwide on January 27, courtesy of Monterey Media. For more information, visit the film’s official website.