Kono Sora no Hana: Nagaoka Hanabi Monogatari
2012 / 160m - Japan
Drama, War
Castings Blossoms to the Sky poster


February 06, 2022


In his final years, Obayashi was greatly invested in WWII and how it influenced and characterized the Japanese identity. The resulting films are quite experimental, long and difficult to capture in a mere couple of sentences. On the other hand, they do start to feel a bit samey and predictable.

Reiko has a thing for stories of the past, so she's always on the look-out for remarkable tales. She visits Nagaoka, a city that had it rough during WWII, where she meets up with people who dig up memories and tell her how they experienced the war. Through their stories they reveal some little known tidbits of information.

The peculiar collage effect is interesting and there are some neat visual ideas, others feel a bit outdated and poorly executed. The performances aren't too great either, a more natural approach would've helped the impact of the drama. His films are still pretty fun though, just a bit long and uneven.