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"Pulses with more hot-blooded vitality and audacity than most films by Obayashi’s younger compatriots.” The Asahi Shimbun
In his follow-up to CASTING BLOSSOMS TO THE SKY, Nobuhiko Obayashi continues to explore themes of lost love, memory, war and art. At 2:46 PM on March 11, 2013 in Ashibetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture, Mitsuo Suzuki (Toru Shinagawa) takes his last breath at the ripe age of 92. As the patriarch’s far-flung family gathers to make preparations for his passing, a mysterious and unknown woman (Takako Tokiwa) appears among them. Together, they begin to unravel the secret history of Mitsuo’s long life, including shocking tales of war in Sakhalin (an island in the Japanese archipelago that is now a part of Russia). Ruthlessly fragmenting scenes and setting a furious pace with one experimental technique following another, Obayashi’s breathless film breaks down the barriers between past and present, reality and illusion, and even self and other, all in order to create an emotionally profound experience of loss and hope. (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 - Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival; Shanghai International Film Festival; Nippon Connection Film Festival; Japan Cuts; Gifu Asia Film Festival; Sanuki Film Festival