• Kyodo


Seven people have complained of nausea and other symptoms while watching the Oscar-nominated U.S. movie “Babel” in Aichi and Mie prefectures, theater officials said Monday.

The maladies are believed to be linked to a scene about 80 minutes into the movie, when the high school student played by actress Rinko Kikuchi dances in a club that has strobe lights. The blinking lasts about a minute.

None of the seven who complained exhibited serious symptoms, and all left the theaters after resting for a while, the officials said.

Midland Square Cinema in Nagoya has begun distributing leaflets warning viewers not to stare at the screen continuously during the scene.

The theater received health-related complaints from five women Saturday, when the movie premiered nationwide, and one man the following day, according to a theater official.

The movie’s Japanese distributor has left it up to theaters on how to deal with the situation, the official said, adding that the Nagoya cinema began distributing the leaflets Sunday at its own discretion.

At a theater in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, an elderly woman complained of ill health Saturday.

“Babel,” directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, depicts the struggles and dilemmas of people who are searching for a way of crossing cultural and emotional divides. It has earned international critical acclaim.

The movie has been eagerly awaited in Japan in part because Kikuchi was nominated for this year’s Oscar for best supporting actress for her performance in the movie.

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