Minamata is now playing in American theaters, and lead star Johnny Depp couldn’t be happier. The actor took to Instagram to make an announcement about the film’s release, noting how excited he was to see this story told. This is important because Depp only posts on social media on very rare occasions, but the posting of Minamata was clearly very important to him. You can see Depp’s post about the film’s release below.
“In 2019, just before the pandemic hit, we made a film about giving a voice to those who have none. Such a theme seems more important today than ever. With all my love and my respect to the strong, beautiful and brave people of Minamata. Their story hits theaters across America today,” Depp said in the caption.
Although Minamata was released overseas, it took some time for the film to hit US theaters. It was previously slated for a US release by MGM, but plans were made to secure a new distributor when director Andrew Levitas and Depp became concerned that the film was not coming out quickly enough. Iervolino and Lady Bacardi Entertainment then teamed up with Samuel Goldwyn Films to pick up the film for release in North America. This follows Minamata having its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.
“I am delighted that the North American public can finally learn what happened and continues to happen in Minamata and around the world,” said Levitas Deadline at the time. “The silence of marginalized voices and those left behind (as well as artists) by big corporate giants must end, and with new like-minded partners, this story will finally be told in North America and hopefully , will offer some peace to the victims and their families who have suffered far too much.
Andrew Iervolino added: “Anchored by exceptional performances and stunning direction and craftsmanship, Minamata is the kind of helpful storytelling that imbibes with the audience and a film they will enjoy seeing. We are thrilled to be able to orchestrate an exit campaign alongside Samuel Goldwyn that will invite the public into this story.
Minamata is based on a true story
Levitas and Depp felt very passionate about the release of Minamata, because showing the film would help raise awareness of the true story on which it is based. The film follows Depp as famed war photographer W. Eugene Smith, who returned to Japan in 197s to document the devastating effect of mercury poisoning on local communities after a large corporation dumped chemicals in their waterways.
David Kesler wrote the script under the direction of Andrew Levitas. With Depp, Minamata also stars Minami, Hiroyuki Sanada, Jun Kunimara, Ryo Kase, Tadanobu Asano and Bill Nighy. It is produced by Depp, Levitas, Sam Sarkar and Kevan Van Thompson. The film is currently playing in theaters in the United States.
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