Kono sora no hana: Nagaoka hanabi monogatari •この空の花：長岡花火物語
Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi/2012 /160 min/blu-ray/colour
Out of the blue, newspaper reporter Reiko gets a letter from her ex-boyfriend Kenichi, inviting her to see the famous Nagaoka fireworks festival and a performance of a play written by one of his students. With newspaper coverage in mind as well, Reiko decides to visit Nagaoka.
The Nagaoka Fireworks Festival was launched in 1947 as a memorial to war victims and a symbol of peace. Filmed in the wake of the Tohoku Earthquake of 2011, Casting Blossoms also memorializes the victims of this natural disaster.
The ‘Nagaoka Fireworks’ is this metaphor….
‘If the entire world’s bombs were shot to the sky as fireworks, war would disappear’ are the words spoken by painter Yamashita Kiyoshi that reinvigorated the life of an elderly pyrotechnician. Behind the scenes, there were people who had persistently requested to launch fireworks as a Japan-U.S. integrated memorial at Pearl Harbor. The film depicts as drama the form of those very Nagaoka City citizens’ hopes. It is a type of semi-documentary which could be called “essay cinema.”
Two years ago, the “The Nagaoka Film” project was launched, and upon completion of the script, the earthquake of March 11th occurred. Then, in a lodge at the foot of the Yamakoshi hills in Nagaoka, where the scars of the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake still linger, the shooting script was completed. I believe that film is journalism if the ink it is written with is a person’s heart. Let us suffer, worry, believe in hope, and deeply think along with film. That is what is said to be film’s power and beauty.
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