Int Lost in Translation

Topics: Film, Suntory, Japan Pages: 3 (1073 words) Published: February 1, 2013
Cross-cultural Management

Culture could be defined as all the ways of life including traditions, religion, language, behaviors, arts and everything that creates identity to a country. In such a globalized world, where in most organizations we have people from the entire world, it is very important to know about cross-cultural management in order to understand people’s behavior and needs in order to avoid problems and have a pleasant and successful workplace. I chose to watch the movie ‘Lost in translation’, a 2003 American movie directed by Sofia Coppala. The film shows us what it is like to find ourselves in a completely different environment, culture.

Gist of the movie:
The movie focuses on issues such as loneliness, alienation and culture shock through the story of two Americans feeling lost in modern day Japan. One’s Bob Harris, an aging American movie star, who arrives in Tokyo to film an advertisement for a Japanese whisky brand. Apart from experiencing the culture shock he is also having a mid-life crisis and seems tired by his marriage which lacks emotions. Then there’s Charlotte, a young Yale graduate who comes here with her husband who is a photographer. She feels left alone by her partner who spends most of his time working, which makes her unsure of her marriage and life. The two eventually meet and together explore the differences in American and Japanese cultures.

In the beginning of the movie, characters are portrayed in many situations, which make it clear that they are experiencing symptoms of culture shock. We see Bob Harris having problems with understanding and adjusting to the newfound conditions since his arrival in Tokyo, e.g. when he is greeted by almost every member of the hotel staff in which he stays and receives gifts and name cards from Japanese people. It is easily noticeable that he is not used to this kind of behavior, where as in the Japanese culture it marks high respect and gratitude to offer one’s business or...
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