Films Set in Hiroshima

ByJustin Hanus
Feb 28, 2024

Films Set in Hiroshima

Locations play at integral role in movies and can serve as a great way of introducing cinema-goers to different parts of the world. Sometimes a city or landscape provides a backdrop for a wider story while occasionally the setting may be an integral part of the story itself. It comes as no surprise that the history of Hiroshima on film is dominated by the 1945 atomic bombings. There have been many brilliant films on this subject and it would be easy to do a list purely about these. However, there are also plenty of other fine films that feature Hiroshima. Here is a pick of flicks set in the prefecture.

Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

One of the most critically acclaimed movies about the Hiroshima bombing and cited as one of the early influences on 1960s French arthouse cinema, this late fifties classic from French director Alain Resnais tells of a love story between a French actress and a Japanese architect. The title translates as “Hiroshima My Love” and the story spans across both wartime and postwar periods, cutting between Hiroshima and Paris. Filming locations in the city include the Hondori Shopping Arcade and the Peace Memorial Park.

Drive My Car (2021)

Another widely acclaimed film, the first Japanese one to win Best International Feature Film at the Oscars, Drive My Car was only set in Hiroshima due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Originally planned for Busan in South Korea, it switched locations shortly before production. It tells the tale of a theater director who moves from Tokyo to Hiroshima to direct a stage production of Uncle Vanya shortly after the death of his wife. The majority of the three-hour film is shot in Hiroshima and features a number of the city’s key landmarks.

The Blood of Wolves (2018)

The Blood of Wolves gives viewers a chance to see a darker side of Hiroshima’s streets and invites you into the world of the gangland underworld of the 1980s. Set shortly before the introduction of the Anti-Organized Crime Law, it follows two detectives – one with suspected ties to the Yakuza criminal mobs – investigating a case of a missing employee at a company also thought to be caught up in the Yakuza network. A sequel film, The Last of the Wolves, was released in 2021.

Labyrinth of Cinema (2019)

An innovative and interesting spin on the effects of the war on Hiroshima, Labyrinth of Cinema follows the fates of four attendees of a war movie marathon at the Onomichi Cinema on the night before it closes. When lightning strikes the movie theater, four members of the audience end up transported inside the movie screen and find themselves in Hiroshima on the eve of the bomb. Director Nobuhiko Obayashi completed the film despite suffering with stage four cancer. Unfortunately, he died shortly after the release.

Aude, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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