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“A masterpiece in its genre." - Adele Campisi, Loud and Clear
"An auteurist fever dream.” - Siddhant Adlakha, Village Voice
After being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer at the age of 80 and given six months to live, Nobuhiko Obayashi set out to fulfill his filmmaking dream: an adaptation of a 1937 novella by Kazuo Dan that the director had originally hoped to make even before his legendary debut HOUSE in 1977.
In the spring of 1941, wide-eyed 17-year-old Toshihiko Sakakiyama (Shunsuke Kubozuka) arrives in the coastal town of Karatsu in Saga Prefecture and befriends a group of teenage classmates who fall in love, quarrel and stumble through their remaining days of youth as war looms on the horizon. An extravagantly stylized epic that makes the most of green screens, elaborate lighting and dizzying editing, Obayashi’s passion project and swan song is a grand culmination of the great director’s dazzling visual style and a poignant reminder of the tragedy of war for this generation. (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 - Tokyo international Film Festival; International Film Festival Rotterdam; Helsinki cine Asia Film Festival; Beijing International Film Festival; Toronto Japan Film Festival; Shanghai International Film Festival; Taipei Film Festival; Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival; Fantasia Film Festival