Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Documentary featuring double A-bomb survivor set for July release in Japan"

From Japan Today (2/9/11):

A documentary featuring the late Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who survived the U.S. atomic bombings on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, is set for release across Japan in July, organizers said.

The film "Niju Hibaku—Kataribe Yamaguchi Tsutomu no Yuigon" (Twice Bombed, Twice Survived—The Last Words of Peace Speaker Tsutomu Yamaguchi), will be shown in theaters in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they said. Yamaguchi died of stomach cancer in January 2010 at age 93.

A Nagasaki native, Yamaguchi, who was a ship-building engineer, suffered the Aug 6 bombing during a business trip to Hiroshima and also the Aug 9 bombing after returning to Nagasaki by train.

The film contains scenes such as Yamaguchi tearfully speaking at the U.N. headquarters in New York and other locations of the need to abolish nuclear weapons, and also his receiving a visit by American film director James Cameron two weeks before his death.

The film was directed by Hidetaka Inazuka, 60, a television producer from Tomakomai, Hokkaido. Inazuka met Yamaguchi for the first time in 2005 while making a program about the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings.

Around that time, Yamaguchi lost his second son, also an atomic-bomb survivor, to cancer, a tragedy that prompted him to firm his resolve to break his silence to tell his experience in public.

Inazuka, who closely followed Yamaguchi for the program, recalled Yamaguchi reiterating the need to convey atomic-bomb victims’ experiences to overseas audiences, saying the survivors’ thoughts and feelings have yet to be fully understood.

Yamaguchi did not belong to any particular survivors’ organization. But Yamaguchi’s desire to abolish nuclear weapons and achieve peace was stronger than anyone else’s, Inazuka said.

"I want the audiences to see in the film the words and aspirations left by Mr Yamaguchi," Inazuka said.

The 68-minute film is narrated by singer Tokiko Kato.

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