NOT KOKURAThis was the first film I made back in '95-'96. It's an experimental, human rights piece critiquing the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan at the end of WWII, along with the dehumanizing propaganda & documentary films that continue to justify the use of WMDs by wealthy nations on primarily civilian populations.
The first 95 seconds are a little slow, but hang in there!
Review:Take One magazine, Spring 1997
Review by Tom McSorely
Written and directed by Gwen (Steven) Haworth. Cinematography by Byron Lamarque. Edited by Catherine (Beilhartz) Kirbyson. 1996. 9 min. 16mm.
On August 10, 1945, the skies were cloudy over the Japanese city of Kokura, the second city targeted for nuclear attack after Hiroshima. As as result of this cloud cover, the alternate target, Nagasaki, was chosen instead and annihilated. Although atomic bomb imagery never ceases to be viscerally terrifying, its overuse as a metaphor has rendered it rather banal. Not here, not in this film. Vancouver-based Steven Haworth's Not Kokura is an intelligent and harrowing re-visitation to the appalling dawn of the nuclear age. Framing his multi-layered evocation of post-atomic consciousness of the mid-20th century with the haunted voice over of Manhattan Project leader, Robert Oppenheimer, Haworth reconstructs famous sequences from aftermath footage of Nagasaki using actors who adopt the same positions as victims in the original footage. The scars are unseen now, suggests this bold section of the film, and are carried around in all of us. Haworth displays a visual authority and inventive approach to a subject too often trivialized by earnest seriousness or, more often, by the fetishization of apocalypse.
Select Festivals:1996 - Toronto International Film Festival
1996 - Montreal World Film Festival - Best Canadian Student Experimental Film
1996 - Vancouver International Film Festival
1996 - Alantic Film Festival - Special Citation for a Film Under 60 Minutes
1996 - North West Film Festival - Student Honorable Mention
1997 - Ann Arbor Film Festival