Hiroshima at 75

  • Kazuo Kuroki – Tomorrow – ashita (1988)


    On August 9, 1945, the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. This film, based on a story by Mitsuharu Inoue, describes the daily life of people in Nagasaki the day before that fateful event. It presents the human drama of people’s lives, and their feelings of joy and sadness. These include a newlywed couple, an expectant mother, an American prisoner of war, and star-struck lovers who must say farewell because the boy is called to serve in the army. Each of these people, like others in the city, hoped to live with their dreams for ‘tomorrow’. However, tomorrow never comes for them, as their lives are brought to an abrupt and unexpected end. But in this case, knowing how the story ends doesn’t detract from the experience at all; rather, it heightens the emotional impact, which is further enhanced by the poignant musical score from Teizo Matsumura. ‘Ashita’ is the first film in Kazuo Kuroki’s ‘War Requiem Trilogy,’ which also includes ‘Utsukushii Natsu Kirishima’ (2002) and ‘Chichi to Kuraseba’ (2004).Read More »

  • Mark Cousins – Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise (2015)


    This hypnotic documentary by cinephile par excellence Mark Cousins takes a brave – but increasingly rewarding – abstract angle by seeking through aesthetic rather than conventional exposition to capture the strange, sensory ethos of the Atomic age (a period spanning approximately 1940-60 but having a far-reaching legacy up to the present day). Using Mogwai’s ethereal electronic soundtrack as his conduit, Cousins takes us through the history of the Atomic period through sound and image alone (there is no overt narration) – even trying ambitiously to suggest that splitting the atom and creating atomic weapons were not in themselves immediately malign developments but almost the end-game of a form of evolution, and symbol of mankind’s mastery over the properties of his planet. Hence Cousins finds in the famous, awe-inspiring images of atomic mushroom clouds a correlation with more common sights of proliferation in nature (a bud that grows, a flower that blooms, sperm that fertilises an egg).Read More »

  • Hideo Sekigawa – Hiroshima (1953)


    “Hiroshima” is a feature film directed by Hideo Sekigawa and was independently produced outside of major studio system in 1953. In fact the film was supported by the Teacher’s Union of Hiroshima who helped finance the production and organized about 90,000 Hiroshima citizens who acted in the film.

    The film begins with Hiroshima in the early 1950s and flashes back to scenes of the horrific aftermath following the detonation of an atomic bomb on humans for the first time in history. Read More »

  • Alain Resnais – Hiroshima mon amour [+Extras] (1959)

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    Strictly Film School, by Acquarello
    […]They are kindred spirits, bound together by personal shame and guilt of survival, and an overwhelming sense that they can never go home again (as in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s White. It is through their affair that the memory of her beloved is reawakened. In essence, the architect is the catalyst: the receptive soul who guides her through the painful, introspective path that leads to closure.Read More »

  • Go Shibata – NN-891102 (1999)

    This film’s cryptic title refers to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki (Nagasaki Nuclear 8 [August] 9 [the day] 11:02 [the time]). A 5-year-old boy survives the fateful blast and thinks that its sound has been captured on his father’s tape recorder, only to become obsessed with reproducing it when the tape appears to be empty. A first, the sound (or its absence) continues to traumatize him as he tries all manner of experiment to reproduce it, but gradually, as he grows older, it becomes oddly comforting. This emotionally powerful film features stunningly realistic flashback scenes that capture the look and feel of actual footage that could have been shot in 1940. NN-891102 was the first feature film by Go Shibata, who is perhaps better known for his 2004 film Late Bloomer.Read More »

  • Melvin Frank & Norman Panama – Above and Beyond (1952)


    The story of Colonel Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Although unaware of the full potential of this new weapon, he knows that it is capable of doing tremendously more damage than any other weapon used before, and that the death toll resulting from it will be enormous. He is reluctant to be the person who will end so many lives, but if using it may bring an end to the war, then not doing so may result in even more lives being lost in continued ground assaults as the fighting goes on. At the same time, the intense secrecy surrounding this mission leaves him with no one he can express his thoughts and doubts to, not even his wife. As time goes on, the pressure upon him only increase. Written by Jean-Marc RocherRead More »

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