This film has been described by many as a masterpiece and indeed it is. The film is shot in black and white and difficult subjects are delicately handled. It is a slow almost poetic movie in the way that sensitive Japanese films can be. But it is riveting nonetheless. I originally saw the movie in New Zealand, in the very early '90s not long after it came out. It was not shown widely in the US. I decided to buy this copy so I could see it again, as I have never forgotten the experience of watching it, and I wanted to show it to friends.
This is not easy viewing as it deals with the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Although the film is decades old the theme and subject matter is still very important. Horrific as it was, the actual bombing and its aftermath take up only a few minutes at the beginning. The rest of the film focuses on ordinary people and how they were affected by the bomb and the radiation; how their lives years later were affected.
We can read statistics about how many got radiation poisoning etc, but numbers just gloss over the human anxieties and suffering. You may wonder why you might want to watch such a film. For one, it is good to know and remind oneself of the real suffering that war and bombs, particularly nuclear bombs inflict on people. Perhaps in doing so citizens and governments would be less likely to willy nily talk about dropping such a devastating weapon. The film raises many questions. Even if a war needs to be ended as soon as possible and even if the "enemy" has started the war, is a nuclear bomb the answer. Other ways, more humane and moral must be found. As one character in the film says: An unjust peace is better than a war of justice.
- Actors: Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara, Shôichi Ozawa, Norihei Miki
- Directors: Shôhei Imamura
- Writers: Shôhei Imamura, Masuji Ibuse, Toshirô Ishidô
- Producers: Shôhei Imamura, Hiroaki Masubayashi, Hisashi Iino, Shigeyuki Endô
- Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
- Subtitles: English
- Rated: Not RatedNR
- Number of tapes: 1
- Studio: Gaiam Americas, Inc
- VHS Release Date: June 29, 1994
- Run Time: 123 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- ASIN: 6302096251
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,811 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)