It is very rare for me to see the same film twice in a theater. But after I saw “In This Corner of the World” in November in Tokyo, I decided to see it again as soon as the movie ended. So this week, I went to see it in Nara.
The film is set in the 1930s to the 1940s in Hiroshima and Kure in Japan. It was a long time ago, but it felt current. This film gave me a new experience, because I felt that I was seeing my memories in two and half hours as if I had lived there for roughly 10 years. I cried a lot but I couldn’t feel tears coming to my eyes. After tears slowly slid down my cheeks, I could feel the coldness of my tears, so I knew that I was crying. In other words, I didn’t have any sense of hearing a character voice. I felt that I saw a great actress who played the main character in a fact-based drama. It was like a documentary and it melted the boundary between film and reality.
This film depicted the reality of those who face war in their daily lives. For them, it was more of a disaster than war. Most war movies often lack this sense of the mundane. But this film includes such a sense of everyday life. For example, daily bombing sirens did not scare people. People started to feel accustomed to them. I assume that I was not aware of my crying because of this point.
This film also describes how ordinary good people are silently and unknowingly complicit in war. We can find the responsibility of war in people who look like they are living moderately in a typical peaceful life. And that is us in this world. In this corner of the world, we pretend to be powerless. But to tell you the truth, we just don’t see it. We have wars everywhere in this world, but we don’t see it. It does not matter if we are powerless or not. We just don’t see it. This film gently clarifies the way we are and what our responsibilities are. That makes us cry without awareness like it did for me.