Hanagatami. 2017. Japan. Directed by Nobuhiko Ōbayashi. DCP. 168 min.
Nobuhiko Ōbayashi dreamed of directing Hanagatami for over 40 years before finally fulfilling his vision—after being diagnosed with lung cancer and given only months to live. Born in 1938 in Hiroshima prefecture, Ōbayashi spent his career reflecting on the lasting horrors of war. Hanagatami, his penultimate film and the final chapter of his (anti)war trilogy (after Casting Blossoms to the Sky  and Seven Weeks ), follows teenage Toshihiko’s return from Amsterdam to coastal Japan as the Second World War looms. After decades of audacious experimentation, the ever-curious director continues his exploration of aesthetics and artifice, making the most of green screen and studio lighting in this deeply personal work. Courtesy KimStim