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.
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
Top Customer Reviews
DVD anime fans should be aware that the subtitles in the film are very difficult to read. They are *bright purple* with blue outlines, but there is transparent space in between the purple and the blue. This makes it especially hard to read on brighter backgrounds. There is no option to turn the subtitles off unless you watch it in English. Therefore I would only recommend this DVD to those looking for an English dubbed version.
Most recent customer reviews
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! Read morePublished on June 8 2004
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. Read morePublished on July 31 2001 by Mad Dog
I think it is important that many people, not just anime fans, see this movie!
Barefoot Gen, like Grave of the Fireflies, left me deeply impressed. Read more
If you like Graveyard of the Fireflies, this is in league with it. This is a post war drama anime. I wouldn't recommend this to kids, as it is depressing and even shocking at... Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2000