14 September 2008 | halohamish
Just in case you forget
After watching Keiji's masterpiece, Barefoot Gen, I was amazed, shocked and touched. The first film truly was incredible and hit harder than any film I can remember seeing. So, naturally, when I went on to watch the second part I was both excited and skeptic. Is it better than the first? Certainly not, and I think we can all agree on that. But, does this film still deliver? Absolutely.
Many believe that Barefoot Gen should have been left as it was, and so do I to a certain extent. But at the same time, the second film offers something the first didn't or couldn't - the aftermath. It shows us how Hiroshima was effected long-term by just one decision. It makes sure you don't ever forget what happened that fateful day. While it's all nice to tie loose ends and act like Gen went on continuing to live a happy life at the end of the first part, the fact was and is, he didn't. Keiji wanted you to know how long lasting these effects were, on not only him, but the whole of Hiroshima. Japan didn't just get over this tragedy. Hiroshima had to continue rebuilding its society in its barren and desolate state.
With all this said, there are definitely reason why this film didn't live up to its successor. All the intense emotion and horror captured in the first film just didn't seem to be there this time around. Things seem a little toned down and by the end of the film, your pretty tired of it all, as you feel you got the idea, the message, Keiji was trying to get across long ago. Regardless, I still very much enjoyed this sequel and it's one of the much better ones you will see.
Hamish Kearvell A.K.A Screaming Japan Productions - www.myspace.com/screamingjapanproductions