Set in post-World War II Japan, midwife Nobuko is resolved to move on as she stands at the grave of her son Koji who died, alongside thousands of others, when the Americans dropped an ...
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Set in post-World War II Japan, midwife Nobuko is resolved to move on as she stands at the grave of her son Koji who died, alongside thousands of others, when the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on the civilians in the southern city of Nagasaki. However, upon returning home she is visited by an apparition. which continues to return in order to commiserate and reminisce with the woman about the past, family, affection and war.Written by
Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 89th Academy Awards in 2017. See more »
The journey to acceptance and resolution
This film tells the story of a midwife in a Japanese village, who lost her son in the Nagasaki nuclear bombing in 1945. After three years, she finally comes to terms with her son's death. Right after that, her son's spirit appears and chats with her about their past, present and future.
The film shows the simple life in a Japanese village after the war. Resources are scarce, and food is rationed. People still help each other out in the village, and the sense of community remains strong.
Much of the film occurs in the house, and shots are rather static. It may seem boring to the modern day cinema goer who is used to fast pacing, but in here it augments the mood of austerity, emptiness and loss. They talk at length about their past, present and future. The supporting characters, namely Machiko and Shanghai uncle are captivating characters too.
I find it interesting that the inability to accept the reality shifts from the mother, the girlfriend and then the son. As time goes by, they all reach resolutions respectively. It is a good story.
A striking thing for me is that the characters in the film are Christians. It may be the filmmaker's way to show that there are more similarities between different nationalities, and there is really only one humanity. People should support each other and seek happiness, just like the characters in the film do.
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