Casting Blossoms to the Sky


Directed by: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi
2011 / 160 minutes / Unclassified all ages


If all the bombs in the world could be changed to fireworks.

Released after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Casting Blossoms to the Sky is the first film in Nobuhiko Ōbayashi’s “war trilogy.” Journalist Reiko Endō (Yasuko Matsuyuki) travels to Nagaoka in Niigata Prefecture to investigate why the city welcomed so many victims of the Tōhoku tsunami. There, she learns about the town’s history during World War II by speaking with the residents, along with the town’s yearly fireworks tradition to honour the lives lost. At the same time, Endō’s ex-boyfriend is in charge of organising the local high school’s play depicting the town’s WWII history, intertwining the narratives of past and present, fireworks and bombs into one. A poignant look at the impact nuclear power has on ordinary Japanese citizens beyond the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Casting Blossoms to the Sky educates while at the same time offering a humanistic perspective on what war can do to a community.

Saturday 13th March

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Sydney

Sunday 14th March

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Sydney

Screens in: Sydney

Director: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi

Cast: Yasuko Matsuyuki, Masahiro Takashima and Natsuki Harada

Distributor: TME PSC

Genre: Drama

Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles

This film is part of a special film series, Finding Serenity in Chaos: A Nobuhiko Ōbayashi Tribute,  that celebrates the late director Nobuhiko Ōbayashi (1938-2020), an endlessly innovative filmmaker, screenwriter and editor. A pillar of modern cinema and pioneer of Japanese experimental film, Ōbayashi’s illustrious six decade career spans feature films, short films and TV commercials. The program comprises the director’s final four films, which represent his life’s mission to inspire peace through his works.