by Chris MaGee
Each September the Katakai Festival lights up the skies over Ojiya City in Niigata Prefecture. The world's largest fireworks festival covers over 800 square metres with the citizens of Ojiya witnessing round after round of multi-coloured fireworks. Just to imagine it is spectacular, but for those of us unlucky enough to never have seen the festival first hand a new film directed by TV drama helmer Masahiro Kunimoto will take us there.
Titled "Oniichan no Hanabi (Brother’s Fireworks)" the film stars Kengo Kora (Snakes and Earrings, Fish Story) as a hikikomori who ventures out of his home to take his sister, played by Mitsuki Tanimura (Oto-na-ri, God's Puzzle) to the annual festival believing that setting of fireworks will in some way cure her leukemia.
Apparently the script for "Oniichan no Hanabi" was inspired by a documentary, but all manner of poking around online didn't result in anything more than the spectacular footage from this past year's festival... which isn't half bad at all.
Rounding out the cast of "Oniichan no Hanabi" are Yoshiko Miyazaki and the hardest working man in Japanese film (besides Susumu Terajima of course) Ren Osugi. Currently filming in Niigata "Oniichan no Hanabi" is due out in Japanese theatres next summer.
Thanks to the ever vigilant Nippon Cinema for the details on this upcoming film.