• First Film Competition  
  • GNCR Award  
  • International Competition


Mieko Azuma

The character of a German woman writer, about whom we know precious little, apart
from the fact that her mother is losing her memory, goes to Hiroshima during the
commemoration of the bombing. Guided by a young Japanese translator, she meets
witnesses and residents, but just like Resnais or Suwa, she fails to gauge anything
other than the distance separating her from the place she finds herself in and from
the motive for going there in the first place. We see here that Meiko Azuma’s
ambition for her first film is considerable, as she confronts this story and similar ones
made before hers. Yet if, from the evidence before us, we can see that this young
film-maker rises to her challenge to a remarkable degree, it is because she
succeeds in interweaving two realities in a precise and delicate manner. On the one
hand, beyond any translation, there is the bitter acknowledgement of an impossible
division: shot and counter shot follow on from each other, irreversible and without
any continuity. One language cannot translate into another, particularly when imbued
with past experiences and pain. On the other hand, the film soberly describes life
in Hiroshima today, which goes on amidst an unostentatious mourning, subdued
and almost invisible. We sometimes abandon the writer so as to follow a taxi driver
and his son or the journey of a bus driver after his working day. Sliding from
documentary to acted scenes in a disturbing, tenuous way, Azuma invents her own
cinematographic language which evokes both the difficulty of transmission and the
need to use obstacles in order to reinforce the path of memory. (JPR)

  • First Film Competition  
  • GNCR Award  
  • International Competition

Technical sheet


Version originale
Japonais, allemand, anglais
Berthold Kröker
Yoshihito Takahashi
Gerhard Auer, Magnus Pflüger
Mieko Azuma

Sylvana Krappatsch et Hirota Otsuka

If… Productions
if… Cinema