DAY OF THE WESTERN SUNRISE
United States, 2018
On March 1st, 1954, the United States detonated the thermonuclear bomb Castle Bravo in the Pacific in the first of several nuclear weapons tests. Castle Bravo was the biggest of the tests, and caught in the blast was the fishing vessel Daigo Gukuryu Maru (Lucky Dragon No. 5).
Day of the Western Sunrise is an animated documentary telling the story of the 23 men on board the Lucky Dragon, tracing their lives from before their voyage in post-war Japan, to the blast itself and their subsequent quarantine at a Tokyo hospital, to their gradual reintroduction into a society that didn’t quite understand or know how to handle the trauma they had experienced.
The film aims to explore the devastating impact of nuclear arms at the human level, drawing attention to the ways in which this destructive technology irrevocably changes the people caught in the blast radius. Painstakingly animated in the style of kamishibai, or ‘paper-drama’, the documentary is stunningly composed of handcrafted and hand-drawn paper models digitally rendered into 3D environments.
Japanese with English Subtitles