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"Pulses with more hot-blooded vitality and audacity than most films by Obayashi’s younger compatriots.” The Asahi Shimbun
In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, journalist Reiko Endo (Yasuko Matsuyuki) travels to the city of Nagaoka in Niigata Prefecture as it prepares for an annual fireworks festival memorializing the fallen victims of war. Drawn to the city by an old flame who plans to put on a war-themed play written by a mysterious student, Reiko embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she learns the storied history of Nagaoka and the ghosts of its war-torn past. Nobuhiko Obayashi’s imaginative first entry in his war trilogy is a deeply moving work of mourning, compassion and hope that ultimately celebrates the resilience of humankind in the wake of debilitating catastrophe. Drawing parallels between war and the existential threats of modern disasters, CASTING BLOSSOMS TO THE KY is a film dedicated to “the children of the future from adults who lived the past.” (Japan Society)
ABOUT THE TRILOGY
In the last decade of his long and prolific career, Nobuhiko Obayashi (1938-2020) - best-known in the U.S. as the filmmaker behind the cult hit HOUSE (1977) - wrote and directed a trio of deeply personal and formally audacious films that confronted Japan’s wartime past. Made in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 2011 and informed by Obayashi’s firsthand experience as a child born on the eve of World War II in Hiroshima Prefecture, the staggering films in this trilogy - CASTING BLOSSOMS TO THE SKY (2012), SEVEN WEEKS (2014) and HANAGATAMI (2017) - collectively consider the loss of innocence for an entire generation of Japanese youth raised in the shadow of war and national disaster. (Japan Society)
Festivals, Awards & Nominations
Official Selection - Nippon Connection Film Festival; Toronto Japanese Film Festival; Eiga Sai (Philippines); Film Week (Poland); Japan Film Festival (Ghana); Dni Japónskovo Kino