Japanese Film “Gift of Fire” to Have November US Release

August 16… LOS ANGELES  The highly anticipated Gift of Fire, a new film about Japan’s little-known attempt to build an atomic bomb in the waning days of WWII that hit Japan’s cinemas on August 6th will be released in the US on November 12th by the Los Angeles based Eleven Arts Studios. 

The film was written and directed by Hiroshi Kurosaki (Goldfish (aka Hi No Sakana) and 2011’s Second Virgin), produced by Ko Mori (Prisoners of the Ghostland, Lords of Chaos ), Katsuhiro Tsuchiya ( Oh Lucy!37 Seconds ),Takahiro Hamano ( Lee Chang-dong’s Burning ) and was a co-production between Japan broadcaster NHK and Eleven Arts.   Award winner Nico Muhly (The Reader) composed the score. Aeon Entertainment is distributing the film in Japan.

Gift of Fire stars Yuya Yagira, who won the Best Actor prize in Cannes for his work on Hirokazu Koreeda’s Nobody Knows. He plays a young scientist on the bomb-building team who begins to doubt his purpose and the purpose of his work.

The Film charts the relationship of the scientist, his younger brother, an officer in the Imperial Army, played by the late Haruma Miura (Attack on Titan), and their lifelong female friend played by Arimori Kasumi (Rurouni Kenshin: Final Chapter Part I – The Final). Yagira’s character, as well as the story, is based on the diary of an actual atomic researcher that was discovered 10 years ago by Kurosaki. Working mainly for public broadcaster NHK, Kurosaki has directed episodes of the smash-hit 2017 NHK drama “Hiyokko.” His script for Gift of Fire  won a special mention at the 2015 Sundance Institute/NHK Awards.

Since the release of Gift of Fire in Japan August 6th, 2021, the film is topping Japanese box office charts for its opening weekend, sitting in the top 10 grossing weekend releases. In terms of Japanese live action films, Gift of Fire is one of the most Amir Naderi, acclaimed international filmmaker says, “Gift of Fire is a sensitive piece of art, and also a film that transports us to the world in 1945. It will remain in my mind forever.”

A screengrab from the movie

Ko Mori, the film’s producer, speaks about creating Gift of Fire. “When I first read the script for Gift of Fire I didn’t know that during WWII, Japan was developing an atomic bomb alongside the rest of the world. Instead of being a grand WWII film, the story focuses on the intimate details of three youthful characters’ lives. They deal with the same struggles as the rest of us, while also taking part in the life-changing scientific developments of the era and a war of epic proportions.

Upon reading the script, I immediately felt that this story needed to be shared. It was difficult to make the film, because particularly in Japan, the film addresses a very difficult subject. Anything related to the atomic bomb is very sensitive to people in both countries, as it should be. WWII was a period of great divide between the US and Japan, and I wanted to produce this film in both countries, to help signify the growth of the collaboration between the two places and cultures, and to look at how far we have come.”

Writer/director Hiroshi Kurosaki adds, “Gift of Fire is a story of youth and the dreams and possibility of science.  On one hand, the story reflects the romanticism present when floating on the surface of the ocean and looking up at the starry skies to imagine the vastness of the universe. On the other hand, the story explores the crimes that can be committed in the name of science and discovery, with the backdrop of WWII, but connected to the present.  I hope that people all over the world will watch this film and challenge their own ideas about war, youth, science, and love.”

Gift of Fire will be released in theaters  across the United States beginning on November 12,  2021. See below for the Official Trailer Release…

Source: Gift of Fire Movie

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