Tokyo, Nov 4 : Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August next year, the 32nd edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival has an anti-war theme running through the official selection.
There are many films that deal with the futility of war at the festival being held from October 28 to November 5 in the Japanese capital. Prominent among them is 'Labyrinth of Cinema', directed by celebrated Japanese filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi. Part of the Japan Now programme of the festival, 'Labyrinth of Cinema' is shot in Onomichi, the hometown of director Obayashi in the Hiroshima prefecture.
The three-hour film begins with an audience watching the last screening at a cinema in Onomichi that is going to be closed for good. Suddenly, three young men from the audience are transported into the screen to begin a journey through time and witness wars of the last century. Obayashi, 81, arrived at the screening of 'Labyrinth of Cinema' in a wheelchair to present the film and receive the Special Achievement Award of the Tokyo film festival. "I have the responsibility to keep making films," he said. "Unless we take some action, the world is not going to change and not going to become a better place," Obayashi said while underlining that he wanted the young people to watch his film to understand history and the futility of wars.
The film, which revisits the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945, is among the many anti-war themed films made by Obayashi, a well known pacifist who campaigns for denuclearisation of the world. "It is certainly difficult to protect the freedom, but we have to do that," the director said after receiving the top honour of the Tokyo film festival
Another Japanese film, 'In This Corner (And Other Corners) of the World', which is part of the festival, deals with the consequences of war in the adaptation of a popular Manga comic. The animated film set in the Second World War in Hiroshima is the extended version of an earlier film, 'In This Corner of the World', released in 2016.
'Boy Soldiers: The Secret War in Okinawa', yet another Japanese movie, directed by Chie Mikami, Hanayo Oya, reveals the dark history behind the Battle of Okinawa during the Second World War that claimed 240,000 lives. Filipino director Brillante Ma Mendoza, who won the Cannes Best Director award in 2009 for his dark police corruption dama 'Kinatay', handles the humane side of the civil war between the military and Islamist rebels in Southern Philippines in his new film, 'Mindanao'.
Another film from the Philippines, 'The Halt' by Lav Diaz, is set in 2034 Manila where volcanic eruptions have led to the loss of sunlight leading to catastrophic consequences. The 283-minute sci-fi thriller deals with climate change and its effects on the planet. The Tokyo film festival, which opened on October 28, will conclude tomorrow with the awards ceremony. (UNI)