”Be My Guest, Be My Baby” is a love story between Shota, a Japanese graduate student whose research focuses on foreign female workers, and Mika, a Filipina woman who works in a pub. This film was based on a highly acclaimed report of the real-life experiences of its author, Kosho Nakashima, whose book became a bestseller in Japan in 2017. While Shota is visiting a “Filipino pub” to conduct research on young foreign workers, he meets Mika. As the story progresses, Shota begins to see Mika not merely as a research subject but as a woman and Mika sees Shota not only as a customer at the pub, but as a man. The distance between the two gradually diminishes and the young couple connect beyond differences in nationality and transcend sociological theories. Eventually, the two step out into a new world of intercultural relationships. Japan is currently facing various issues related to multicultural conviviality, such as the exploitation of foreign technical trainees, national responses to refugees and immigrants, etc. This film hopes to remind us that “conviviality” can be realized through genuine heart-to-heart connections.
While visiting Filipino pubs for his dissertation research, Shota, a Japanese graduate student, meets Mika, a Filipina hostess who works at a pub. However, she reveals that she got her visa to Japan through a sham marriage and as he learns more about her, her unfortunate circumstances gradually come to light. She is paid only 60,000 yen a month, lives in a dirty room with cockroaches under constant surveillance, and only has two days off every month…
One day, at Mika’s request, Shota goes to see her employer, a yakuza. Is there any hope for a future for this young couple with so many obstacles ahead of them? While realistically depicting the background and hardships of young Filipina women working in “Filipino pubs” in Japan and their harsh working environment, this unique love story depicts how multicultural coexistence can be achieved by Mika, a woman with resilience, and Shota, a man who supports her.
The lead role of Shota Nakashima in this film is played by Koki Maeda, who made his debut as a leading actor in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “I Wish” in 2011. The female lead, Mika is played by a Filipina actress, Reizel Ichinomiya, who makes her acting debut in this film. Other notable actors from globally famous films include Stefanie Arianne from “PLAN75,” which won the Special Mention award in the Camera d’Or at the 75th Cannes International Film Festival, Kanji Tsuda, who played the protagonist in “Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle,” the opening film in the “Un Certain Regard” section at the 74th Cannes International Film Festival, and Shuna Iijima, who played the main character in the film “Bad Poetry Tokyo” which was screened at the 13th Osaka Asian Film Festival
Mitsuhito Shiraha is a Japanese filmmaker who was born in Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture in 1964. He graduated from the Department of Drama at Nihon University College of Art. His film “What’s for Dinner, Mom?” was an official selection at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Vilnius International Film Festival. His other directorial filmography includes “Noto no Hanayome” and “School Lunch”.
Producer: KAZUO MITANI
Co-Producers: YU MUKADA KOICHI KOTANI
Based on the Novel: ‘Sociology of Filipina pub girls’ by KOSHO NAKASHIMA
Screenplay by: SATOSHI OOCOCHI
Director of Photography: RITSUKO TOYOURA
Gaffer: FUMIKO NIEDA
Production Designer: KEI AKUTSU
Costume Designer: YASUHIRO CHIBA
Hair and Makeup: YUKI ANDO YOSHIMI IIZUKA
Assistant Directors: EIJI ARAKAWA HIROBUMI OKAMOTO
Sound: IZUMI MATSUNO
Music by: SHOHEI NARABE
International Sales ： Cobalt Pictures Co., Ltd.