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directed by Masaaki Tanabe
Japan 2015


"The atomic bomb destroyed a culture. It destroyed the connection between the river and its people," and seventy years after the bombing of Hiroshima, the power of the bomb itself usually overshadows the lives it destroyed or irrevocably altered. Somberly narrated by the usually camp George Takei (STAR TREK), MESSAGE FROM HIROSHIMA uses the testimonies of survivors, film clips, still photographs, artwork, and three-dimensional CGI models to attempt to recreate for the viewer downtown Hiroshima before it became Peace Memorial Park as it is today. The digital recreations are a novel approach and well-designed if not always convincingly rendered (which is really only an issue when they substitute a CGI shot for one of the buildings that has actually been meticulously rebuilt rather than actually just showing it), but the most vivid imagery still comes from the words of the survivors in their joyous recollections of life before the bomb and heartbreaking details of the aftermath (including many of them growing up as orphans or "unclaimed children" unable to depend on the communal spirit of their neighbors that they remember existing before). Put together for the seventieth anniversary (with some interviews shot at least five years before), MESSAGE FROM HIROSHIMA does not fully realize its concept but does convey a sense of the people effected by the bombing and the multiplicity of emotions they experience when talking about the past.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 4 August 2015 (USA)

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DVD Review: Cinema Libre - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Cinema Libre

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 52:16

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.49 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Japanese/English Dolby Digital 5.1; Japanese/English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Cinema Libre

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Interview with director Masaaki Tanabe (16:9; 5:57)
� Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 3:07)
� Photo Gallery
� Previews

DVD Release Date: August 4th, 2015

Chapters 9





Cinema Libre's single-layer DVD adequately renders this HD-lensed documentary with only some distortion in the animated digital recreations. The Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks foregrounds the English narration and Japanese dialogue with music and sound effects given a bit more depth on the surround track. English subtitles are burnt-in for the Japanese dialogue while the narration can be accompanied by closed-captioning for those who can access it.

Besides a photo gallery and trailer for the film (as well as trailers for other Cinema Libre documentaries), the only substantial extra is a short interview with director Tanabe about his own reticence to talk about his experience growing up and even with his wife and children.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Cinema Libre

Region 1 - NTSC


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