News from the Locarno Festival

Story of an Failed Kamikaze

Story of an Failed Kamikaze



First at a bus stop, where he strikes up a song, and then in front of a large empty table, where model airplanes and ships take their place a few at a time, needed to describe the indescribable action of a pilot flying an engine-less aircraft, a lanky old man tells a story whose force renders superfluous any attempt at staging. The starting point is an explanation of how the kamikaze troops functioned, but then the subject moves to the underlying system, the relationship of absolute, but never blind, obedience to authority.

It’s here that HAYASHI Fujio – the man destined for sacrifice who suffered the shame of returning alive, simply because his commander never chose him – makes the leap that separates the old world from the modern. Stuck midstream, he makes an extraordinary witness: he knows and respects the sacred duty of authority, but he also heard the divine emperor become human and fail in the simple task of saying a word of thanks and apology to his many companions in misfortune.

This small film subtly resembles Miyazaki’s beautiful reflection on the Second World War, almost serving as its reverse shot, the “wind that rises” translated into the murmur of HAYASHI Fujio’s words.

Carlo Chatrian
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