Codename: Nagasaki – Reel Asian 2021

Codename: Nagasaki

Codename: Nagasaki – Reel Asian 2021

“CODE NAME: Nagasaki” tells the story of Marius and Fredrik, two young men who forged their friendship through filmmaking and decided to put their skills to a unique challenge: finding Marius’ long lost Japanese mother.

A Japanese man living in Norway decides to seek out his Japanese mother in . is a Japanese-born man, who moved to Norway as a kid and makes films together with his friend Fredrik S. Hana. Marius decides to go back and Japan and search for his birth mother, whom he hasn't seen for 25 years. The search is documented by Fredrik, both through traditional documentary methods and a number of constructed dramatizations.

Codename: Nagasaki is a hybrid documentary by the filmmaking team of Fredrik S. Hana and Marius Lunde about the latter's journey to reunite with his estranged mother. The documentary footage is shot predominantly with DV cameras, giving the film a very home movie feel. However, the film also has a number of dramatizations starring Marius as various versions of himself, which includes the samurai epic Blade of the Forgotten, the film noir The Strange Case of the Missing Mama-San and the kabuki horror of Curse of the Demon Son.

It is pretty obvious that Codename: Nagasaki is a film by a filmmaker who is not a very experienced documentarian, but enjoys making genre films. This results in Codename: Nagasaki being a very atypical documentary, where the various dramatizations, each of which tackles a different genre of film, almost overshadows Marius Lunde's search for his mother. While an interesting watching, Codename: Nagasaki is ultimately little more than a filmmaking experiment.

Codename: Nagasaki is streaming as part of the virtual 2021 Reel Asian Film Festival

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Trailer for Codename: Nagasaki – Reel Asian 2021

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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