I pass flowers in bloom / in full bloom all around us / tormented as I am / I respect and honor you
Overwhelming, and left me in genuine tears
Hanagatami is a work of such towering effect, the dialectic of the chaos of war and lost childhood innocence. Boys becoming ‘men’ for futile nationalism. The film is an artifice because war is an artifice. A symphonic bombardment of melodrama, constant motion, constant life, and just off-screen, constant death. War ruins us all. The climactic tragedy of Hanagatami is unstoppable and predicted, but in its three-hour runtime it tries desperately to live and to love.
Forty years in the making, a final plea for peace from Nobuhiko Obayashi after his stage-four cancer diagnosis, the fact that this isn’t actually his swansong opus is remarkable. Labyrinth Of Cinema sounds beyond. RIP king 💖💖💖