Hanagatami ★★★★★

"Dan's poet friend, Chuya Nakahara died of TB that year. Then the filmmaker, Sadao Yamanaka died in Manchuria. They all died at such a young age. Dan wrote, '1937 was truly a bleak year.' He was 25."

A film that always makes me cry even before it really begins; a dedication to the young and lost souls who perished before their bloom. Ode against war, important portrait on illness, part animation, part opera that echoes Fassbinder's Querelle with its colors, artificial sets and use of sea. But all in all always devastating, a film that might draw from the experience of the war generation but applies to young people of today as well, people who live in the cross pressure of barbarous demands - the sense of uncertain doom and unspoken gulfs that separate us mix our confused feelings into one big lump that slowly eats us. We are not certain if other people are our enemies or loved ones. Those who stand by and watch, survive to unknown future. Those who live passionately for one thing or another burn out.

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