Archives / 2014 Sundance Film Festival

The Girl from Nagasaki

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Director: Michel Comte

Screenwriters: Michel Comte, Anne-Marie Mackay

Institute History

  • 2014 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Michel Comte’s dazzling feature debut renders this modern love story as an epic, overt spectacle of romance and loss, and a marvel of formal construction.

Based upon Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, the film introduces Cho-Cho, a child survivor of the cataclysmic bombing of Nagasaki at the end of World War II. The daughter of a geisha, Cho-Cho sets her sights on becoming the wife of a brilliant, young American military pilot based in Japan—and she succeeds. Trained as an astronaut, her new husband departs for a mission. Even though he promises to return, Cho-Cho feels she has been left to manufacture hope in the face of despair.

Comte deftly shuttles between modes of presentation—ballet, video art, opera—presenting a life story through numerous revealing windows. Expertly modulated, these overlapping narrative/performative facets bring expansiveness to the telling of Cho-Cho’s heartbreaking story—with time, attention, and high art graciously embellishing and dignifying every dimension of her experience.

— S.K.

Screening Details

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