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Rating: 4 stars

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Japan short film film festival interview weather balloon

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Seen on: 07/31/2020

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Blind Bombing, Filmed by a Bat (2020)

Directed by Kota Takeuchi

Documentary | Short

Most recently watched by sleestakk

Overview

During WWII, the Japanese army developed experimental balloons able to cross the Pacific Ocean and reach the West Coast of North America in 3-6 days. Armed with explosives, they were given the code name fu-go, or fusen bakudan (“fire balloons,” or balloon bombs) in an attempt to instill a culture of fear like that caused by the far more deadly American firebombing of Japanese cities. The U.S. responded by enacting a censorship campaign, requesting newspapers avoid reports of fu-go landings or sightings. Living near the remains of a fu-go launch site in Fukushima Prefecture, Takeuchi mimics their flight take-off using a drone camera, and, traveling to North America, follows their arrival across the shoreline and rural landscapes, using a bat’s echolocation as narrative device to place fu-go and Fukushima as echos across history.

Length 32 minutes

Actors

Viewing Notes

Interesting topic but poorly executed. My least favorite thing I’ve seen at JAPAN CUTS and actually curious how this was accepted; it’s not good. (probably a student film?) It’s all over the place and loses track of the thesis with random inserts and repeating the same content. Needed an editor and trimmed down to 15 minutes or so.

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