‘Under a Mushroom Cloud’ Film Festival at JANM

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The Japanese American National Museum, First and Central in Little Tokyo, will present the “Under a Mushroom Cloud” Film Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18-19, in conjunction with the exhibition “Under a Mushroom Cloud: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Atomic Bomb.”

Four world-acclaimed films tell the story of people who were under the two mushroom clouds. JANM encourages the public to see the films and share these stories of resilience, love, and hopes for peace.

All screenings are included with museum admission, but attendees are asked to RSVP for each separately.

This festival is co-presented with the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles.

Note: Dates and times of screenings have changed due to the anticipated traffic congestion in the area for the Women’s March on Jan. 18.

The schedule is as follows:

“Paper Lanterns” (2016, 60 minutes) on Jan. 18 at 5:30 p.m. This documentary follows the quest of Shigeaki Mori, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, and his desire to account for those killed on Aug. 6, 1945. Mori discovers that 12 American prisoners of war also died that day, but were forgotten.

In the film directed by Barry Frischette and Max Esposito, Mori searches for the relatives of two of the POWs: Normand Brissette and Ralph Neal. He also campaigns to include the names of the 12 American POWs at the Hiroshima Peace Museum with the thousands of others killed. The film documents Mori’s encounter with President Obama in 2016 at the Hiroshima Peace Museum.

Q&A to follow with filmmakers.

“Nagasaki: Memories of My Son” (2015, 135 minutes) on Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. In this drama, Nobuko Fukuhara (Sayuri Yoshinaga), a midwife, has lost her husband and eldest son to World War II and her youngest son Koji to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. After the war, she has only her work to keep herself occupied until an apparition of Koji begins to visit. The two have long conversations, which make Nobuko happy, but also remind her of her losses.

Directed by Yoji Yamada, the film was submitted to the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Kazunari Ninomiya, who played Koji, won several Japanese film awards for this role. In Japanese with English subtitles.

“In This Corner of the World” (2016, 129 minutes) on Jan. 19 at 1:30 p.m. The award-winning animated feature written and directed by Sunao Katabuchi depicts life in and around Hiroshima before, during, and after World War II. Based on a manga written and illustrated by Fumiyo Kono, the story traces the life of a young woman named Suzu as she marries, relocates to Kure, and tries to maintain her optimism in the face of the worsening Pacific War.

But Suzu and her family are unable to avoid tragedy and the loss of loved ones. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Japan’s subsequent surrender heighten Suzu’s despair. Slowly, she and her remaining family rebuild their lives as they and their friends work together. In Japanese with English subtitles.

”The Face of Jizo” (2004, 99 minutes) on Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. Kazuo Kuroki’s film is based on a play with the same name by Hisashi Inoue. The central character, Mitsue (Rie Miyazawa), survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima but lost her only relative, her father, Takezo (Yoshio Harada). Working as a librarian postwar, she meets a young man named Masa (Tadanobu Asano) doing research at her library. The two are mutually attracted to one another, but Mitsue cannot forget her grief for her father, whose ghost visits her.

This is considered the third film of Kuroki’s War Requiem trilogy along with “Tomorrow” (1988) and “A Boy’s Summer in 1945” (2002). In Japanese with English subtitles.

For more information, call (213) 625-0414 or visit www.janm.org. The exhibition closes on June 7. A special display of artifacts from atomic bomb victims will be on view until March 1.

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