The Japanese Embassy in London will screen the anime adaption of Barefoot Gen which was released in 1983. I have not seen the film or read the manga but I have visited Hiroshima and it is a wonderful city. The museum dedicated to the atomic bombing is full of heartbreaking exhibits. While I don’t discuss politics here, I think that nuclear weapons are evil and any nation that has a stockpile should decommission them. If anybody disagrees, perhaps seeing this film and seeing people who have suffered the consequences of their use might change their minds.
The event is free to attend but anyone interested in being part of the audience must book in advance to secure a place.
Here’s the information:
はだしのゲン 「Hadashi no Gen」
Release Date: July 07th, 1983
Running Time: 83 mins.
Director: Mori Masaki
Writer: Kenji Nakazawa (Screenplay),
Starring: Issei Miyazaki (Gen Nakaoka), Kae Shimamura (Kimie Nakaoa), Masaki Kouda (Ryuta Kondo, Shinji Nakaoka), Junji Nishimura (Mr Pak), Kae Shimamura (Kimie, Mother),
Synopsis from the Embassy: Hiroshima in the summer of 1945
Gen Nakaoka is in the second grade at the local elementary school. He is living with his parents, an older sister and a younger brother. His mother is pregnant and is expecting to give birth soon. Although the family is poor, their lives are happy and harmonious. On 6 August, the US bomber Enola Gay takes off from Tinian Base and chooses the city of Hiroshima as its target. At 8:15am, the bomb is dropped. After an intense flash of lightning, the city is destroyed, with burned corpses everywhere and thousands of people, horribly injured by pieces of glass, are bleeding and dying. Gen miraculously survives. Running back home, he finds his father, sister and brother trapped under the collapsed house. He and his mother desperately try to save them, but their efforts fail. Gen and a neighbour, realising it is hopeless, carry the mother away from the now burning house. They watch it in helpless horror. The baby is born prematurely.
On 15 August, the Japanese Government surrenders. Gen’s mother says ‘Why not sooner!’ The food shortage becomes so serious that the mother and the baby suffer from malnutrition. One day, Gen meets a boy who resembles his dead brother and who has lost his family in the A-bomb attack, and welcomes him as a member of his family. Gen’s little sister dies from lack of food. Stricken with A-bomb sickness and afraid it will get worse, Gen sees a ray of hope in the barren fields.
This film contains scenes which young viewers may find frightening. The British Board of Film Classification has rated the film as 12A, the category which indicates that no one younger than 12 may see the film unless accompanied by an adult.
The event takes place on July 25th and starts at 18:00. There is a special talk at 18:30 and the film starts at 19:00. The location is the Embassy of Japan in the UK, 101 – 104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT and you can find out how to book tickets with this link.