Wednesday, December 16, 2009
HACHI the movie
Well it appears after all has been written, agonized and panicked over, the movie HACHI with Richard Gere as its star, has been relegated as going straight to video instead of having its opening nationwide on 12/18/09 as previously reported.
We may all wonder why it went right to video -- I heard it was over legal dispute over distribution/viewing rights -- but it definately does avert what could have been a potential issue for our breed. While the movie did not target kids the way BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA did or 101 DALMATIANS also did, it still would be viewed by a large population who may have gotten the wrong idea about owning an Akita.
The biggest worry I had with people seeing the movie was that people may think allowing an Akita to run loose ANYWHERE is a safe bet. Allowing an Akita to run around a town off leash should surely make any viewer realize "Oh this is just a movie" but sadly it would make many idiots out there in viewer land feel they could get an Akita and let it do what Hachi did -- run loose in the streets without a leash. What a bad idea! But of course, if that didn't happen, there would be no movie -- as Hachiko the original Akita in Japan that the story is based on, would not have gone to the train station every day to wait for his master if he was leashed up and behind a fenced in yard! So leashed Hachiko equals no story about Hachiko!
But Akitas don't do well with being unleashed -- too many distractions, too strong a prey drive, to heightened a sense of dominance which most often leads to not coming when called. Too much of a potential for disaster -- so no Akita should ever be off leash unless in a secured area.
While I am looking forward to seeing the movie for many reasons (the biggest reason now being that I know Forrest, one of the adult Akitas used in the filming; that's him in the picture at the top of this page!) I am also rather secretly happy it will not be out for general viewing in movie theaters. Anything we can do to stem the tide of unwanted Akitas washing up on our doorsteps all over this country is a good thing.
But when it does come out on video, I will most certainly buy a copy. I own the Japanese version of this movie and it makes me cry just thinking of the beauty of the story, the Akitas in the movie, and the message it sends. The American version I am told is also beautifully done and has the same strong message about love, loyalty and devotion between man and dog. Definately a story worth telling and seeing.