Seventy five years ago today, March 10, 1945, just after midnight, the US obliterated a quarter of Tokyo and killed 100,000 in a devastating firebombing raid against the Japanese. A new documentary from Australian filmmaker Adrian Francis, “Paper City” captures the memories and stories of three survivors before they’re gone forever.
Growing up in Australia, I learned very little about how ordinary Japanese experienced the war. This changed when I saw Errol Morris’ documentary The Fog of War—and first learned of the firebombing of Tokyo. The facts were devastating: 100,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, killed in one night—the most destructive air raid in history. And yet there seems to be a kind of public amnesia around this tragedy. I began this project because I wanted to know why.In this film, we tell the story through the eyes of the people on the ground that night.–Director Adrian Francis
Just after midnight on March 10, 1945, the U.S. carried out a massive incendiary air attack on eastern Tokyo, unleashing a firestorm that devastated this densely urban area of wooden and paper houses. By sunrise, more than 100,000 people had been killed, a million people made homeless, and a quarter of the city wiped off the map. Devastation.But while the memory of this tragedy is forever seared in the minds of the survivors, for many people in Japan and abroad, the firebombing is ancient history—forgotten. Paper City is the story of three survivors desperate to leave behind a record of this forgotten tragedy—before the last of them passes away.
(Here you can watch a trailer of this important film and historical document.)
To help this film achieve its completion and release, you can take part in its crowdfunding effort.
From initial research to now, Paper City, has taken five years. We have assembled more than enough footage to tell this story. Now need to raise the funds to complete editing and post-production. We are pushing to complete the film and bring it to the world in 2020—75 years after the firebombing, and with the world’s eyes on Tokyo for the Olympics.
Crowdfunding page: https://camp-fire.jp/en/projects/231378
Campaign period: March 1st to 30th, 2020
Target:$4 million yen (Approx. USD 40, 000/ AUD 60, 000)
Follow the project on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook: @papercitytokyo