The day the bomb fell life was never the same again...
Kali | United Kingdom | 04/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An elderly woman (Kane) played by Sachiko Murase lives in Nagasaki Japan. One memorable summer she takes care of her four grandchildren who inadvertently awaken in her the memory of the day that the atomic bomb fell in 1945, and how it deprived her of her husband. With the arrival of her American-Asian nephew from the US, played surprisingly well by Richard Gere who manages to speak Japanese without fluffing it too much, Kane is forced to re-evaluate how the dropping of the bomb has shaped her life and beliefs. Haunted by the fact that she could not save her husband, and reliving the memories of that terrible day Kane strives to protect her family, and this culminates in her fleeing her house in a storm, clutching an umbrella as if this will protect her against the wrath of nature.The scenery is breath taking, the acting brilliant and with a haunting sound track, this slow moving Japanese with English subtitles will make you look at the dropping of the atomic bomb with new and horrified eyes. An intelligent and thought provoking film for those people who like a movie with class and brains."
Thoughtful treatment of the effects of war
f19f | 12/28/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This may be a minor film by Kurosawa, but anyone else would be thrilled to have made something so beautiful and thought-provoking. The film follows four children (the oldest is about to start college) who are visiting their grandmother in Nagasaki for the summer. They learn that their grandfather was killed (forty-five summers before) in the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki, and try to understand what that means for them now. Slowly, they come to understand both their grandmother and themselves better. This is a thoughtful treatment of the use of the atomic bomb, in large part because it manages to be profoundly anti-war without being hostile toward America. You will never forget the grandmother."
Points of view about Nagasaki
Justo S. | 03/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie shows you several points of view about Nagasaki, that is, the use of the atomic bomb. These points of view are as of 1990, at 45 years from that day.It starts with children's feelings and thoughts about that day. These children are grandsons of a teacher dead by the bomb, and live in Nagasaki.The parents' attitude follows. They try to live better and not to suffer, even more, not to remember or make people remember that day.Next is the story of the survivors of the bomb. The grandmother, who lost her husband, and the classmates of children killed by the bomb.Finally, the mind and heart of the Nikkei (descendant of Japanese). This is a double situation: He is not only a descendant of Japanese, but also of USA nationality.The story is directed well. The characters are defined clearly.
However, please note that this is not a documentary film. You could make your opinion about Nagasaki and the bomb based on the arguments (most of them true) of the movie, but it wouldn't be enough.Also because this is a movie, you'll enjoy some funny or artistic parts it offers to you. Besides, you would learn about some Japanese costumes and tales.A final note: If you try to study Japanese watching this work, beware: The grandmother talks with namari (local accent)."
Far from slow and minor
Miyo K Geddes Wratten | 02/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To those hollywood goers not used to seeing masterpieces by directors who go for intellectual and emotional punch over visual punch, this movie would be "slow" and "minor." Kurosawa did a magnificent job of conveying the emotional, socio-polotical and historical impacts of the WWII bombings in Japan. In an industry often saturated with directors who appeal to those who crave visual candy (Jurassic Park, for example), this movie is a standout of what directors CAN achieve using few special effects, other than their heart, their soul, their mastery of the camera and dialogue. A beautiful film which portrays an intricate interweaving of new and old that so characterises modern-day Japanese society, even in a universally tragic topic such as war. Not a typical Kurosawa "epic film," as in Seven Samurai, but definately huge, and important, in many other ways."