9th August

Short clip set on the morning of the day the bomb was dropped (Clip is pre-sound mixed).

68 years ago today at precisely 11.02 am, the 2nd Atomic bomb to be dropped on Japan, detonated over the Urakami district of Nagasaki.  Six days later the war finally came to an end and the American occupation began.

Nagasaki is often referred to as the “Forgotten A-Bomb city”, but one man helped to generate worldwide interest in the event. That man was Dr. Takashi Nagai- mainly confined to a bed, living with his two children in a small hut near ground zero, he wrote extensively about the disaster and the need for world peace.

What Makes Dr. Nagai’s work so unique and extraordinary is that his words are never bitter or angry. His books are deeply spiritual and make for profound reading. This is why when they were published they made such an impact on a war ravished and demoralized country.

He was visited by the Emperor himself  who gave an impassionate speech to the people of Nagasaki during his visit. Western celebrities also made the pilgrimage to see the ‘Holy Man of Nyokodo”.

The Emperor visits Takashi in Nyokodo.

The Emperor (Gakuji Nomoto) visits Takashi (Leo Ashizawa) in Nyokodo.

Emperor speech

The Emperor speaks to the people of Nagasaki. A dignified and stirring performance from Japanese actor Gakuji Nomoto

It is also one year ago today that we shot our first scenes with cast and crew. Yesterday marked the penultimate day of the shoot, and the day was partly dedicated to re-creating the visit of American icon, Helen Keller to Takashi’s hut.

Helen Keller, the first goodwill ambassador from America visits Takashi

Helen Keller, the first goodwill ambassador from America visits Takashi

Helen Keller was a remarkable woman, who overcame blindness and deafness to become a prominent and renowned writer and social activist.  Helen was a much loved and respected figure in Japan and her visit to Japan after the war, was the first official visit from a US goodwill ambassador and very much a state affair

Playing the part of Helen is British actress Susan Jameson. Susan played the part with such grace and eloquence and together with Leo Ashizawa, who is of course playing Takashi; they crafted a truly beautiful and heartfelt scene.

Susan Jameson and Charissa Shearer as Helen Keller and Judith Tyler

Susan Jameson and Charissa Shearer as Helen Keller and Judith Tyler

Yesterday we also worked with upcoming actress, Charissa Shearer. Charissa plays a fictitious character called Judith Tyler, an Australian working for the Allied powers in Japan.

Again, Charissa turned up on set, looking every inch the part; she was great to work with and gave a wonderful, sensitive performance. We see a great future for Charissa as an actress and wish her all the best!

Some behind the scenes shots from our most recent shoots!

Leo Ashizawa as Takashi Nagai. Here Takashi struggles to come to terms with the emotional damage of war.

Leo Ashizawa as Takashi Nagai. Here Takashi struggles to come to terms with the emotional damage of war.  Photo credit: Josh Pitt

Actress Kaya Yuzuki as Matron Hisamatsu

Actress Kaya Yuzuki as Matron Hisamatsu

Ian and Leo go through a scene.

Ian and Leo go through a scene.  Photo credit: Chris Willmore

Dominic shows Anna (Kayano) how to operator a camera!

Dominic shows Anna (Kayano) how to operate a camera!  Photo credit: Chris Willmore

Luke, Ian, Dan, Dominic and Josh shooting a scene on one of our outdoor locations.

From left to right; Luke, Ian, Dan, Dominic and Josh shooting a scene on one of our outdoor locations.  Photo credit: Chris Willmore

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4 Comments

  1. PAW

     /  August 10, 2013

    I am curious; will this be historically accurate? Is this the true story of Doctor Nagai or just based on his life? I’m confused by the inclusion of the ‘fictitious’ character played by Charissa Shearer. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your question.

      We have tried to remain as accurate as we can with the telling of this story and while most of it is actually based on fact, please remember that it is still a work of drama, meaning we have to work within the constraints of this medium i.e we have to tell the story within a certain amount of time.

      Therefore out of necessity a few fictitious characters have had to be introduced to help us convey the broader historical picture and feelings and sentiments of the period. These fictitious characters though, are based on or inspired by real people.

      Thank you again for your question and your interest in “All That Remains”.

      Ian & Dominic Higgins

      Reply
  2. Vincent

     /  August 16, 2013

    I appreciate your efforts to film the life of Dr. Takashi Nagai.

    I can accept some fictitious characters in the movie, but I personally feel sorry that Polly Thomson who was with Helen Keller at Nyokodo when Helen met Dr. Nagai.

    Dr. Nagai and Emperor Hirohito did not meet at Nyokodo. The place they met was the hospital at Nagasaki Medical College. Dr. Nagai ‘s children, Makoto and Kayano were there. The Emperor spoke to them as well.

    I noticed that the name of the nurse who was with Dr. Nagai was changed from Shisono Hisamatsu to Matron Hisamatsu.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comments.

      “All That Remains” spans the entire life of Dr. Nagai, so again, we must point out the time and budget constraints we are working within – as you know, the story of Dr. Nagai is an epic one, covering many events and peopled with many interesting and important characters. While we have the greatest of respect for Polly Thomson, Helen Keller appears in one brief scene in the movie, and due to the constraints of budget and time, we have chosen to concentrate that scene on a very personal moment between Dr. Nagai and Ms. Keller.

      It is true that the Emperor did visit Dr. Nagai while in hospital, but as film-makers we approach a scene from both the aspect of a dramatist and also that of a painter – and like a painter we will use symbolism to speak to an audience on a much deeper level, to impart a certain feeling, or to help better grasp the magnitude of an event. As you will be no doubt aware, Dr. Nagai did receive important guests in Nyokodo too, including world famous Russian violinist Alexandre Moghilevsky and the Australian Cardinal Gilroy (legate of Pope Pius XII), and in this movie, our intention is to assert the importance of Nyokodo as a place of pilgrimage both in Japan and internationally, a holy place, a place imbued with the spirit of the man who lived his final years there. This is what we ourselves felt when visiting Nyokodo during our research trip to Nagasaki.

      We do also include the Emperor meeting Dr. Nagai’s children, Kayano and Makoto, as well as his address to the people of Nagasaki.

      Thank you again for your interest in “All That Remains”, we appreciate and value all feedback as we strive to do justice to the life story of such a remarkable man, especially so from those who clearly have a genuine love and respect for Dr. Nagai and his work, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to respond to such feedback.

      Ian & Dominic Higgins

      Reply

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