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60 Years After Hiroshima, Two Films Confront the Dropping of the Bomb
Through the Haunting, Life-Affirming Art of Toshi and Iri Maruki
Hiroshima No Pika is an animated film made by Noriaki Tsuchimoto based
on the award-winning children’s book by the Japanese artist Toshi Maruki.
Through Maruki's heart-rending but beautiful water color illustrations, the film
tells the story of a young girl and her family who live through the horrific bombing
of Hiroshima. While the horror lies in the reality of the story, the beauty of
the film’s articulation creates a sensitive and affecting movie for children
and their parents to engage in together. Narrator Susan Sarandon, a longtime supporter
of anti-nuclear war campaigns, lends her talent to this historical yet timely
story, inspiring children to remember Hiroshima in the hope that it will never
Nominated for an Academy Award, John Junkerman's documentary film Hellfire:
A Journey from Hiroshima captures the artists Iri and Toshi Maruki in their
decades-long collaboration to create a testament to the effects of the atomic
bomb- the Hiroshima Murals, which have been viewed by over 100 million people
around the world. Haunted by the memories of Hiroshima after the atomic blast,
the Marukis began a series of monumental paintings depicting what they had seen.
With engaging interviews and extended sequences of the Marukis at work, Hellfire
reveals a message of hope in our nuclear age, and is a reminder of the power
of art to render visible and meaningful what still seems unimaginable.
What the Critics are Saying
"These 15 ‘Hiroshima Murals’ constitute one
of the world’s most powerful and sustained expressions of the effect of
the atomic bomb." - The New York Times
"The beauty of the Marukis’ work is rich with inspiration." - Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburo Oe
"To say that these pictures are forceful, fearsome, and haunting
is to understate the case. They’re plainly amazing." - Detroit
"Maruki’s paintings are portraits comparable to Picasso’s Guernica and an urgent plea to prevent what happened twice from happening
ever again." - Publishers Weekly