In the summer of 1945, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan: the first on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, and the second on Nagasaki three days later. An estimated 140,000 civilians were killed in Hiroshima that day, including 12 American POWs whose family were never told of their death. A young Japanese boy, Shigeaki Mori, witnessed the explosion and survived, but his life was changed forever.
“Paper Lanterns,” by director Barry Frechette, is a film about the true story of these 12 American POWs and Mori’s struggle to piece together their tale in the years and decades that followed the end of World War II. Mori’s account does not paint the POWs as enemies, but as human beings who suffered in one of history’s most tragic events.
The film is about them — the horrors they witnessed, their families’ struggle to find the truth and one man’s effort to give them the gift of closure and have each of the airmen recognized as victims of the atomic blast at the Hiroshima Peace Museum.
The witnesses and survivors of these horrific events are dying. They do not want anyone to forget their loved ones and the sacrifices they made. They strive for peace, for compassion and for a world free of nuclear weapons. They want us to never forget their story.
This film is being screened in honor of International Day of World Peace (September 22).
Chad Cannon, the film’s composer, will lead the post-screening discussion. This presentation of the 60-minute film is co-sponsored by the Center for Creativity and the Arts, the Ethics Center, Peace and Conflict Studies and Peace Fresno. All CineCulture events screened on campus are free and open to the public. Parking is free after 4 p.m. on Fridays. INFO: Dr. Mary Husain at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the CineCulture website. See original press release.