Hula Girls (2006) - full transcript

In 1965 the planned closing of a coal mine in Iwaki (northeastern Japan) will put 2,000 people out of work with devastating effects on the community. The mining company plans to build the Hawaiian Center to promote tourism, but the idea meets with resistance by the community's union families who boycott the effort. However, a few of the young women in Joban see the call for dancers to possibly provide a more promising future. Norio Yoshimoto is put in charge of organizing the center, with Madoka Hirayama, a professional dancer fleeing creditors in Tokyo hired to train the dancers. Kimiko, her friend Sanae, and Sayuri are amongst the handful first showing up for lessons but soon others join them. When Kimiko's mother, Chiyo, discovers that she has skipped school classes to learn dancing the two argue and Kimiko leaves home. Her brother Yojiro, one of the newly out of work miners, comes to be supportive of her dancing as he becomes protective of Madoka. The girls start to tour neighboring communities and dance to promote the center, getting more proficient in the process. After secretly seeing Kimiko practice, and how good she has become, Chiyo helps gather heaters to save palm trees imported from Taiwan from dying from the cold. Her change of heart as head of the union's woman's organization shifts the sympathies of the community as the opening of the center nears. Madoka has molded coal miner's daughters into professional dancers, and Kimiko performs a standout solo dance at the opening. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
Produced by Cine Qua Non
in association with Happinet and S-D-P


Iwaki City,
Northeastern Japan

Hawaiian Dancers Needed


No one's gonna find us here

Kimiko, promise you
won't tell anyone

Tell what?

Just promise


You swear?

Have I ever broken a promise?

Didn't tell anyone when you
crapped in your pants, did I?

Alright, then

Hawaiian dancers?

I can't get the coal out
when it gets in my nails

Not even with soap

18-year-old girls
shouldn't look like this

If we don't go for this,
we'll be stuck here forever

Yeah, but...

you know how to dance?

I know some folk dance,
so I'll be fine

Basically the same thing

You sure?

Sure it is


You can't be here!



You hear?

Yojiro, wait up!
Did you hear?

When Nakago Mine closes,
they're laying off another 2,000

One Mine, One Family

With the closing of Nakago Mine,

roughly 40 percent of personnel,
or 2,000 people,

will be let go

We object!

Over our dead bodies!

If we don't do this,
the company won't survive!

Is that all that matters?

What about us?

Like I said,
we'll do what we can

We'll work with the union to
set up a reemployment office

All you do is talk!

Get off me!

What do you think you're doing?

Calm down!

Settle down!

Mr. Yoshimoto!

As part of the new project,

we've invited Mr. Yoshimoto
from the Hawaiian Center

Quiet down, please

As you may know, the Hawaiian Center
is an enormous project...

that will cost 1.8 billion yen
to construct,

staking the fate of the company on...

How many people?

Excuse me?

After spending 1.8 billion yen,

how many people can you employ?

Well, right now we're looking
at just under 500

What about the other 1,500?

Cancel this project now!

That's ridiculous!

You ain't bringing down our
mine over some Hawaii!

How was the meeting
about the Hawaiian thing?

To hell with Hawaii!

They ain't gonna spend our
hard-earned money on that rubbish!

No need to get all serious
Just asking

Our mine's been here a hundred years
No way it's closing down!

Even the Emperor himself came
for a visit, you know

He even stayed in that steam
bath of a pit for 32 minutes!

But Yojiro and them
stay down eight hours

Numbnuts, you're comparing
me to His Majesty?

Who cares about His Majesty?

Haven't they taught you
anything in school?

If other countries don't sell us oil,
what'll Japan do without coal?

Isn't Hawaii supposed to
save our town?

Why would anyone build a Hawaii
in a freezing place like this?

Yojiro, what do you think?

You against this Hawaii thing?

Of course he is!
Don't be asking stupid questions!

Joban Mine has spent hundreds
of millions of yen each year

to pump out the troublesome hot spring
spouting from the mountain

Well, if there's more hot spring
here than we know what to do with,

why don't we instead take advantage
of it to help solve our debt?

That's the innovative idea behind
the new Joban Hawaiian Center!

Then, does that mean
the mine's really closing down?

What'll happen to Dad?

Gotta do something before the
tide of oil swallows us whole

To save your family and town,

you're the ones who'll
rise to the occasion!

I can't shake my buns like that

They'll see my belly!

Oh my

My naked body's not for show!

Wait, it's not finished yet!

The best part's coming up!

Don't leave!

Let's go

Don't go, please!

I'm begging you

Just three left

No, two

Three including me

But Hatsuko, you've got a kid...

What? I can't do it if I have a kid?

Well, I mean...

Excuse me

Was thinking maybe my daughter
could be of use for the company

Hey, Sayuri, what's the matter?

Come on in

Raised her all by myself,

so she looks a bit like a boy,

but ever since she was a baby,

she's been crazy about dancing

You hear? The dancer from
Tokyo's coming today


They say she learned
hula dancing in Hawaii

and used to star at
the prestigious SKD


Wonder if she's as cute as
that girl from The Peanuts?

What the...?
What's going on?

That's strange...


Whatcha doing?

Beat it, brats

You kidnap her, mister?

You kids are crazy

She's here!

Hawaii's here!

She's here!

Hey, no cutting

They're animals
Wild, savage beasts...

Truth be told, I was one of 'em
beasts 'til half a year ago

Oh, before I forget,
I should give you this

Three months' pay, for now

So, where exactly is my Hawaii?

Welcome Ms. Madoka Hirayama

Actually kind of a bland name, no?

But she used to be with the
SKD revue troupe,

only the most prestigious
dance company in Tokyo

Wonder what she's like...

I'm here!

What's up with this floor!

This here's your teacher,
all the way from Tokyo...

Ms. Madoka Hirayama!

I'm gonna puke...

I'll pick you up in the morning
- Yoshimoto

What is this place?

So far, these are the four girls
who've managed to survive...

the grueling tryouts

We're expecting more to
join as we go on

For starters,

let's show your new teacher
what you can do

What do you mean?

Your dance skills, of course

Dance skills?
But we only just...


Ms. Hirayama, shall we start?

Don't just stand there
Let's start with you, Hatsuko


Why me?

Where you all going?
Don't leave me...

Sheesh, what am I supposed to...
I dunno what I'm doing

It's pointless! Aren't you
supposed to teach us to dance?

We need to see how it's
supposed to be done

You don't have to
if you don't want to

That goes for both of us

"The promise under the sun...

"was their own little secret..."


Hey! What're you doing?

Hey, Yojiro! It's Hawaii!
It's the Hawaii chick!

Just put that away!

Chill out! Just a little
friendly greeting...

Hey, she's a looker,
huh, Yojiro?

Wait, where you going?
Come back!

Ow! It's stuck!

Mitsuo, you idiot!

Enough with the greeting
Now get outta here

Numbnuts, don't embarrass me

Hey, I don't care where you're from

Don't be acting like
you're better than us!

It's hopeless

Damn, it hurts!

This ain't a place for
a chick like you!

You best get packed up and
head back to Tokyo!

I'm only here because
I was asked to

As soon as I'm done, I'm
getting out of this dump!

Off to school!

Study hard, earn that tuition

Yes, Mom

Minoru, hold your sister's hand!

Have a good day

See you!

Morning, have a good day!

Sure your dad won't find out?

Don't worry, he won't

You sure?


Morning, what're you doing?

Hurry, hurry

Take a look


I wanna learn to dance like you

I wanna be a professional dancer


Line up here

Too close

Try this

Oh golly, you saw my underwear!

On second thought,

I don't think this'll ever work

Why coal miners' daughters, anyway?

Just bring over some
real dancers from Tokyo!

We can't do that

Come on, that's it!
Let's go with pros!

The idea behind the
Hawaiian Center is...

"by and for coal miners..."

Coal miners my ass!

If you really think these girls
can be ready in a few months,

you're insulting pros like me
Gimme a break!

You best stop talking
like we're gumbies

Yeah it's off our rockers
making Hawaii up here

But the town's going
belly-up if we don't do nuthin'

Them girls put up with folks
'round town saying it's rubbish

But we gotta do it or