Adrian Francis’ documentary Paper City follows three elderly survivors of the 1945 firebombing of Tokyo in their fight against bureaucracy and indifference to ensure that the event and its victims are not forgotten.
Just after midnight on 10 March 1945, the US launched an air-based attack on eastern Tokyo; continuing until morning, the raid left more than 100,000 people dead and a quarter of the city eradicated. Unlike their loved ones,Hiroshi Hoshino, Michiko Kiyooka and Minoru Tsukiya mamanaged to emerge from the bombings. Now in their twilight years, they wish for nothing more than recognition and reparations for those who, like them, had been indelibly harmed by the war–but theJapanese government and even their fellow citizens seem disinclined to acknowledge the past.
Paper City, produced by Melanie Brunt, makes its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival; it is a MIFF Premiere Fund film.