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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Add to your movies to watch before you die list

*Important Announcement*
Pigeon Dynamite will be donating 20% of its profit made between Nov 1st to Dec 25th 2013
 to UNICEF USA to help children affected by super typhoon in Philippine 
for more information, please go to UNICEF website and check details in Pigeon Dynamite facebook page.

When I was in high school, there was a time that I decided to watch a hundred movies a year.
(Only the movies that I hadn't watched. The movies that I had already seen did not count.)
 To tell you the result first, I failed. I probably watched over 90 movies, but did not make it to a hundred. In addition to that the Japanese busy local video store manager ended up remembering my name.(Sadly this video store does not exist any more. Renting a video sounds such retro nostalgia nowadays.)
I kept my notebook to write reviews on each movies I watched and sometimes I couldn't even comment on a few that were just simply bad so that , with great disappointment, I'd write something like "I want my two hours back" rather than commenting on the story or how bad it was.
Anyway, I confess that I was such a nerd. 

Because it is two days before the Pearl Harbor day, I thought that I would share three of the war related movies, two of which that I watched during my hundred movie mission, that would make us think of humanity and how meaningless the wars are.

The first movie is No Man's Land by Danis Tanović
released in 2001. 

This movie won numerous awards including the Best Foreign Language Film in Academy Awards and Golden Globe.
It is about two solders from opposing side and one man whose beneath there is a buried landmine that would go off if he moved. The movie depicts the fate of these men with UN and media involved during Bosnian war.  (watch trailer)
This movie is pretty amazing how comical and even humorous to depict such complete tragedy with the heavy theme.
The movie will make you laugh but will leave you silent in the end.
And you can watch the full movie on Youtube with subtitle!

The second movie is pretty well known, Life is Beautiful by Roberto Benigni.
It was released in 1997, but I watched this movie for the first time during my mission.

This movie also won many awards including the Best Foreign Language Film in Academy Awards and Grand Prix in Cannes.  (watch trailer)
The story is about this happy family in Italy right before World War II strikes in 1939.
The father is Jewish and as Nazi reaches Italy, the family is sent to the concentration camp.
The father tells his son that this is a game and tries to keep him out from the cruel reality.
This movie is one of those movies that you need a tissue box next to you when you watch.
And you can watch the full movie in English on Youtube as well.

  The last one, but not the least, is not the movie that I watched during the mission but I had watched many times before the previous movies.
It is called Grave of the Fireflies by Isao Takahata.
It was originally released in 1988 and has been always voted as one of ten saddest movies in Japan. (Also, British magazine took survey and this was 6th place of the 10 most depressing movies.)
In fact, this movie is just sad besides the fact that it is a great movie, it is just sad.
I remember this movie was played many summers in Japan and that was how I watched the movie the first time.
The story is about two children in Kobe, a 14 year-old boy and his 4 year-old sister who lost their parents during the war, struggling to survive together.
The story is based on a novel, and the author put his experiences through the bombing of Kobe during the war.

This little girl, Setsuko, is the ultimate cute Japanese child and in the original movie she speaks the cutest Kansai-ben. (Kansai region dialect.)
And I cannot write any more because it is even hard to think about this movie, it is just that sad. I mean, I highly recommend watching it, but you need to get ready to get your heart completely broken to pieces.
And you can watch the full movie on Youtube as well.

The last two movies are, to me, not intended to be so "anti-war" type of movies.
They seem to be showing more importance of family, love, and hope.
But in the end, the message of these movies does not contain the necessity of the wars.

Winter is a good time to stay in and get cozy.
These movies are obviously not the happiest movies to watch, rather maybe just make you sad,  but definitely something you gotta watch before you die.

Thanks for reading,

Pigeon Dynamiteは11月1日からクリスマス迄の売り上げの20%を
フィリピンの子供を支援する為アメリカンユニセフ を通して寄付します。


 最初の一本は2001年にリリースされた ダニス・タノヴィッチ監督ノーマンズランドです。


実際は 野坂昭如の短編小説が元になっており、作家の実体験等を交えた作品になっています。



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