Monday, October 6, 2008

Raindance 2008 documentary tells the true story of Japan's kamikaze pilots

by Chris MaGee

The 16th Annual Raindance Film Festival is currently taking place in London, England and Japanese films are featured prominently in the line-up of international films. "Adrift in Tokyo", "Now, I... (Ima Boku Wa)" and "This World Of Ours (Oretachi No Sekai)" amongst others will be screening through this coming Sunday, but a non-fiction film has been earning the most buzz of all the Japanese films this year.

Japanese-American filmmaker Risa Morimoto’s documentary "Wings of Defeat" follows her search for more information on her uncle who was one of the many Japanese pilots ordered by the desperate Imperial Army to sacrifice their lives in suicide missions during the last days of WW2. Her investigation leads her to speak with US Naval veterans who witnessed the infamous suicide pilots in action, but also surviving Japanese kamikaze pilots.

This is a truly fascinating cinematic document, one added to this year's Raindance Festival by Midnight Eye co-founder and Raindance programmer Jasper Sharp. Along with Takako Matsumoto's portrait of avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama "Near Equal Yayoi Kusama: I Adore Myself" Morimoto's "Wings of Defeat" has rocketed to the top of my list of Japanese documentaries to catch. I'm sure you'll feel the same way after watching the trailer below.

Check out the official site for "Wings of Defeat" here, and thanks to James Dennis at Twitch for details on this film.

No comments: