Friday Video: Mrs. Judo: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival will begin next weekend at the Historic Malco Theatre in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Developed in 1991, and then incorporated as the Institution in 1992, the festival is the only film institute in the United States dedicated only to documentary films. They currently house over 18,000 documentary titles, making their institution one of the largest film libraries of its kind. Hot Springs is a small town, but this event brings in people from all over the world.

The Arkansas Times ran a great peices week that breaks down just a few of the films that will be offered, including Charles Bradley: Soul of America, which looks amazing. To see a complete list of the films, go here. 

One film that caught our eye is Mrs. Judo: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beauftiful. Produced by Flying Carp Productions and sponsored by the United States-Japan Foundation, this film tells the story of 98-year old Keiko Fukada, the highest ranking woman in judo history. To carry on this tradition she had to break multiple others. Here’s how Flying Carp Productions explains the controvery of her decisions:

In 1934, Fukuda was preparing for marriage, like most young women in Japan. But when she met Jigoro Kano, her life’s path was radically altered. She gave up marriage, family, and her homeland to pursue her life destiny – spreading judo around the world.

Based on what we see in the trailer, the film explores the nature of inter-generational leaning, the complex layered life of being a tradition bearer, and the narratives of immigration to the United States. It also tells the story of a woman who chose to forgo the traditions of her gender and the prices she paid for that controversial decision.

With it’s attention to the physical beauty of the aging proces, the filmography is stunning.There’s something in these clips that hint at a larger story of what it means to dedicate your life to what you love.

This film will be showing October the 16th at 12:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, go here.

To read more about the film and other productions from Flying Carp Productions, go here. 



  1. Curt says:

    This year’s festival is being held at the Arlington Hotel because the Malco recently suffered storm damage.

  2. Meredith says:

    Thank you for the information!