14 February 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
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BERLIN -- The director and producers of a documentary about Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine have received multiple death threats from right-wing groups in Japan that want to prevent the movie's local release.
Japan's Dragon Films has decided to move its Tokyo offices and are taking steps to protect its staff after anonymous death threats against the company, its personnel and Li Ying, the Chinese-born director of "Yasukuni".
"The threats began about two months ago, when we started press screenings of the movie in Japan," the director told The Hollywood Reporter in Berlin, where "Yasukuni" is screening in the Berlin International Film Festival's Forum sidebar. "The threats have gotten worse and worse as we have gotten closer to the Japanese theatrical release of the film in April."
Li spent 10 years researching and shooting his documentary, which looks at the controversy surrounding the shrine, which honors Japan's war dead, including a handful of top war criminals. For many, the site is a symbol of Japan's militaristic past, and it has become a rallying point for the far right.