Arts4All Blog

An Intimate Evening with Paper Lanterns Creators

Posted June 8th, 2018  |  By A4A.admin

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Last month, CSMA hosted a special screening of the documentary film Paper Lanterns, the story of American POWs in Hiroshima, and Shigeaki Mori, the man who spent his life remembering them.

Shigeaki Mori witnessed and survived the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. He has spent over 30 years researching and obtaining official recognition for the American POWs who were killed while being held in the Chugoku Military Police Headquarters, close to the explosion’s center. He authored a book on the subject: “A Secret History of U.S. Service Members Who Died in Atomic Bomb.”

Paper Lanterns tells his story, and shares Mr. Mori’s message of the importance of a nuclear-free world and how we must work toward peace in our world. A key scene in the movie shows Mr. Mori being honored by former U.S. President Barack Obama in a ceremony in Hiroshima in 2016.


The evening began with a special proclamation from Roger Spreen, Mayor Pro Tem of Los Altos Hills.


We were honored to have a number of special guests join us for a Q&A following the film:
  •  Shigeaki Mori, the film’s subject
  •  Barry Frechette, director
  •  Chad Cannon, composer
  •  Nobuko Saito Cleary, producer
  •  Peter Grilli, producer


During the Q&A, Frechette shared his inspiration in making the film, which is his first. One of his relatives was a friend of Normand Brissette, one of the American POWs featured in the film. Frechette learned about Mr. Mori’s efforts while researching Brissette, and was inspired to tell this story. He described his biggest challenges in making the film as raising the money for the production costs, and the fact that he spoke no Japanese.


Following the Q&A, the audience was treated to a lovely vocal performance from Kayoko Mori, a classically trained singer (and Mr. Mori’s wife!) and Nobuko Saito Cleary, accompanied by Chad Cannon on piano. Following his time here in the Bay Area, Mr. Mori traveled to Lowell, Massachusetts to attend a Memorial Day service in Brissette’s hometown.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this wonderful event, as well as our supporters:
Nobuko Saito Cleary and Dr. Gary Cleary
Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco
Cross Cultural Communications
Japan Society of Northern California
Hidden Villa
Chef Chu’s, Los Altos
Buck Gee
US-Japan Council

Learn more about Paper Lanterns and view the trailer.

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