6.5/10
61
3 user

The Firefly (2001)

Hotaru (original title)
A Japanese love story that takes place during World War 2. It follows a young Japanese man who goes to war and tries to stay connected to his true love.

Director:

Yasuo Furuhata

Writers:

Yasuo Furuhata, Yô Takeyama (as Yo Takeyama)
Reviews
2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ken Takakura ... Yamaoka Shûji
Yûko Tanaka Yûko Tanaka ... Yamaoka Tomoko
Isao Natsuyagi ... Takemoto
Ryûji Harada Ryûji Harada ... Tetsuo
Takami Mizuhashi Takami Mizuhashi ... Fujieda
Ayako Kobayashi Ayako Kobayashi ... Otsuka Hisako
Kiichi Nakai ... Nakajima
Hisashi Igawa ... Fujieda Youji
Tomoko Naraoka Tomoko Naraoka ... Yamamoto Tomiko
Nenji Kobayashi Nenji Kobayashi ... Ogata
Renji Ishibashi ... Yamazaki
Yukiyoshi Ozawa ... Kaneyama
Yûko Fueki Yûko Fueki ... Young Tomoko Yamaoka
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shinri Kai Shinri Kai
Takashi Kikuchi Takashi Kikuchi
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Storyline

A Japanese love story that takes place during World War 2. It follows a young Japanese man who goes to war and tries to stay connected to his true love.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

27 May 2001 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Firefly See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nominated in all 13 categories at the 2002 Japanese Academy Awards, but won nothing. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Quiet Impact
19 February 2007 | by ken-583See all my reviews

Western film makers, and especially American film makers, have presented their paeans to the soldiers who fought in WWII -- but I've often wondered how this topic was dealt with in Japan.

Rather than focus on heroics or bravery or battles or military might, "Hotaru" presents a simple and respectful portrait of those who survived and the lives they led. It is a simple story about ordinary people who lived through extraordinary times.

Others have commented that parts of the film seem disconnected -- I agree, in that certain story lines appear and the stop, as if the editor simply forgot to remove them completely when the director changed his mind.

And, indeed, some of the performances are bland -- but the work done by Takakura-san and Tanaka-san is outstanding. They present the soul of their generation -- and of their nation -- with nothing less than nobility.

Furuhata-san, the director, has used his camera with the softness of a lover's caress upon the scenery. There is a sense, in his deft touch, of the organic one-ness of man and nature found in Shinto beliefs. Each cloud, each wave, each blossom serves to help us understand the lives of the characters just as much as the characters help us understand the "Japan-ness" of Japan.

This is a lovely film -- you would be well-advised to see it with someone special.


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