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Barefoot Gen

Issei Miyazaki , Catherine Battistone , Mori Masaki    Unrated   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description

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Keiji Nakazawa attracted widespread attention in 1973, when he published the first installment of his semiautobiographical manga (comics), Barefoot Gen. Nakazawa was 6 years old in August 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Most of his family was killed in the blast, and the artist survived through sheer luck. Nakazawa's continuing story now fills seven volumes (nearly 2,000 pages). In addition to two animated features (also written by Nakazawa), three live-action films and an opera have been based on Gen.

Nakazawa's alter ego, Gen Nakaoka is on his way to school when the bomb detonates. He makes his way back to his home through hellish scenes of ruined buildings, corpses, and hideously mutilated survivors. Although his family is still alive, Gen and his pregnant mother are unable to free his father, sister, and brother from the rubble of their house and must leave them to burn to death. His mother goes into labor during their flight and his new sister is born amid the devastation. Holding the infant, Gen tells her to remember the horrors, so that they never occur again.

Barefoot Gen is completely unlike the musical fairy tales and slapstick comedies Americans associate with animation, but its powerful antiwar message has won admiration around the world. Barefoot Gen II follows the character through the early days of the postwar era. --Charles Solomon

Product Description

Drawn from writer Keiji Nakazawa's true life experiences in the aftermath of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Barefoot Gen tells the story of one family's struggle to survive against overwhelming odds. Six-year-old Gen has lived practically his entire life in the shadow of war. Yet he is not prepared for the horrors which follow the bombing of Hiroshima. Contains scenes of extreme violence; reccomended for mature audiences.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Will make you Cry June 9 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I watched this movie in a class one day and it almost made me cry. A story about the bombing of Hiroshima, a boy escapes the effect of an etomic bomb by a stroke of luck! Watching his father, sister and brothe die in their burning house, he and his pregnant mother a forced to live on the streets. Things don't go to plan when his mother goes into labor with no docters around and is forced to give birth by themselves. Dying of poor health, he and his new friends are forced to get a job to buy milk but something goes horribly wrong. This movie is moving and touching and I highly reccomend it to those that don't mind a few graphics and violence. Five stars all the way!
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4.0 out of 5 stars How could one bomb do all this damage Feb. 7 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
It was a sunny day over Hiroshima. A plane flew overhead a parachutte opened it fell to the ground then all hell broke lose. I usualy don't like anime it is always to weird. Barefoot Gen was different. Barefoot Gen is very violent and definutly not for kids. If it was American it would R at the very least. It takes place in Hiroshima 1945. Before the bomb blew off it was a regular family story. I was supprised how well I could relate to the charactors as real people. Way more than most American films. Then the bomb hits. The bomb explotion is the most disturbing scenes in all of movies ever. It shows people being insinerated in slow motion. After it shows mangled survivors walking around like zombies. You can only imagine the horror to have been there. Though Gen tries to save his family he is forced to go back and watch them burn. This disturbing film sends a strong message of the pointlessness of war. It is not pro Japanese or pro American it tells it how it is. Gen has a lot of bad stuff happen to him. He loses his hair and though he tries to save his baby sister he fails. Barefoot Gen tells in great detail what it was like to be there.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A few nice moments, but nothing special July 31 2001
By Mad Dog
Format:DVD
Barefoot Gen is based on a famous award winning japanese comic book. Frankly you're better to read the original than sit through this sentimentalized and trite offering. While there are moments of spectacle (the bombing and the horrific aftermath), it's basicaly a "good feeling" movie set in Hiroshima.
While it might've been worth renting, it's definitly not a "must have". Much better you spend your cash on the masterpiece "Grave Of the Fireflies".
The DVD includes some liner notes but no additional information. The picture quality is fine -- no particular problems.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gotta get 'Gen' Feb. 27 2001
Format:DVD
Few animated films can be comfortablly labeled "important". Mamoru Shinzaki's "Barefoot Gen" is, without a doubt, one of these films. Based on Keiji Nakazawa's poignant graphic novel, the film tells the story of a family and how their lives are affected by the atomic bomb dropped on Hisroshima in 1945. Shinzaki perfectly adapts Nakazawa's somewhat akward style of drawing and adds dimension to these already strong characterizations. The animation is a bit on the stiff side. The style of animation looks a bit like what we stereotypically think of when picturing anime. While there are moments of great beauty and grace (mostly in the film's backgrounds), the animation is closer to Speed Racer than Princess Mononoke. The film elegantly re-tells Gen's tragic story of survival, streamlining the narative for the big screen. Missing from the film are several charming vignettes as well as two of Gen's brothers. Focusing mainly on Gen and his actions and responses, the film loses some of the comic's political vigor but retains a strong voice against war. Never is the film anti-American. It matter of factly cries out against the pointlessness of war. It is mainly through the horrors witnessed in uncompromising graphic detail (even more so in the comic) that this message is most vivid. And yet Barefoot Gen is ultimately a story of survival. Gen is a hero and his actions speak of the amazing potential of the human spirit when faced with the unspeakable. The only thing you will be longing for after the film's somber closing is more. Like "Grave of the Fireflies", "Barefoot Gen" is more than worthy of a spot in any collector's library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY MOVING CARTOON Nov. 20 2000
Format:DVD
I rented this movie one day just as a curiosity piece. It looked different from the rest of the boxes in the Anime section. No robots or half naked women or vampires or anything futuristic. It turned out to be a touching story of a boy & his family's struggle in Japan during the closing days of WWII. The animated bombing of Hiroshima is one of the most disturbing scenes I have ever watched-one can only imagine the horror of being there in person. But its the aftermath of the bombing that sends chills down my spine. This film is not Pro-Japanese or Pro-American. It tells it like it was. This is the kind of film parents should show children, teachers should show students. It transcends all ethnicity and makes the viewer think. I wish that it wasn't anime because a film like this needs more exposure than to be put into a category with few outside interests. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about, and if you haven't, then make it a point to.
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