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Blind Bombing, Filmed by a Bat

32m Short, Avant-Garde, Documentary 2020

During WWII, the Japanese army developed experimental balloons able to cross the Pacific Ocean and reach the West Coast of North America in 3-6 days. Armed with explosives, they were given the code name fu-go, or fusen bakudan (“fire balloons,” or balloon bombs) in an attempt to instill a culture of fear like that caused by the far more deadly American firebombing of Japanese cities. The U.S. responded by enacting a censorship campaign, requesting newspapers avoid reports of fu-go landings or sightings. Living near the remains of a fu-go launch site in Fukushima Prefecture, Takeuchi mimics their flight take-off using a drone camera, and, traveling to North America, follows their arrival across the shoreline and rural landscapes, using a bat’s echolocation as narrative device to place fu-go and Fukushima as echos across history.

Available streaming territory: Worldwide

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Director

Kota Takeuchi

Language

in English and Japanese with English subtitles

Countries

Japan, United States

Bonus Content

Intro Video

1m

Introduction by director Kota Takeuchi

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