Directed by: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi
2017 / 169 minutes / Unclassified 15+ (under 15s must be accompanied by an adult)


A vividly moving reflection on young love and heartache for all that’s lost.

Capping off Nobuhiko Ōbayashi’s “war trilogy” with a film that was in development for 40 years, HANAGATAMI is a psychedelic, rose-tinted lament for the youth stolen by war. An adaptation of Kazuo Dan’s 1937 novel of the same name, HANAGATAMI is set in a picturesque seaside town on the western coast of Japan in the final lead up to WWII. The story follows the innocent 16-year-old Toshihiko (Shunsuke Kubozuka) and his group of extraordinary friends. Tension builds as the carefree adolescents share fleeting intimate exchanges while reflecting on the value of their lives and the inescapable impending doom on the horizon.

Nobuhiko Ōbayashi’s signature directional style of jarring, iconoclastic edits and texturally audacious cinematography make for a disorientating visual shockwave, indicative of avante-garde techniques that first inspired his films during the sixties.

Friday 12th March

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Sydney

Sunday 14th March

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Sydney

Screens in: Sydney

Director: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi

Producer: Terumichi Yamazaki and Kyо̄ko Ōbayashi

Screenplay: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi and Chiho Katsura

Cast: Shunsuke Kubozuka, Shinnosuke Mitsushima, Keishi Nagatsuka and Honoka Yahagi

Based on: Hanagatami by Kazuo Dan

Music: Kousuke Yamashita

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.