Requiem for a Generation of Lost Souls
1 x 56 minute documentary
A generation of Japanese men and women, whose fathers died fighting Australians and Americans in the jungles of New Guinea, are still struggling to come to terms with their personal loss and with the legacy of Japan’s role in the Pacific War.
We follow a group of this generation, as they make a pilgrimage to the sites of their fathers’ and comrades’ death in New Guinea, and witnesses their religious observance which aims to give rest to the wandering spirits of loved ones. Veterans describe the ‘darkness’ of life in Japan during wartime, and the horror of the futile jungle campaigns where disease and starvation decimated thousands of men abandoned by the dissembling Japanese high command.
The generation who were children, or were born during wartime, talk of their great regret and anger over their father’s and families’ wartime experience, and also in regard to Japan’s political course through the 1930s and 40s. Ultimately, both the veterans and the ‘fatherless generation’ provide a rare critical perspective of Japan’s wartime aggression and the consequences for other countries and for Japan’s people.
Best Documentary, WA Film & Video Festival 1996
Certificate of Merit, Social History, Chicago Film Festival 1996
Director and Writer Frank Rijavec
Director of Photography Ian Pugsley
Editor Lawrie Silvestrin
Executive Producers Andrew Ogilvie & Susan Fleming
An Electric Pictures Production 1996