The French computer programmer Laura inherits the task of making a computer game of the Battle of Okinawa in Japan during World War 2. She searches the Internet for information on the battle, and interviews Japanese experts and witnesses. The extraordinary circumstances of the Battle of Okinawa lead Laura to reflect deeply on her own life and humanity in general, particularly the influence of history and memories. —IMDb
“I write to you from a far-off country…”
Information regarding the early life of Chris Marker, photographer, filmmaker, videographer, poet, journalist, multimedia/installation artist, designer, and world traveler, is scarce and conflicting. The year to which his movies, videos, and multimedia projects are dated depends on which source you use, and in which country you live. Personal data is in a state of complete disarray: Derek Malcolm, writing about ¡Cuba Sí! (1961) for The Guardian, reports that Marker was born in Mongolia, of aristocratic descent. Geoff Andrew of Time Out London isn’t sure (Andrew, 146), and most sources, along with the Internet Movie Database, use the location I’ve listed above as his place of birth. Some say his father was an American soldier, others that he (Marker) was a paratrooper in the Second World War. Still others, that he comes to us from an alien planet. Or the future. Throughout his career, he has rarely been interviewed, and even more rarely… read more
An extended essay on the power of recorded memory, which is given a greater emotional weight thanks to the performance of Catherine Belkhodja as this woman attempting to come to terms with the loss of her husband, and in doing so, finding the remnants of his being in the codes and script of a video game that he was developing shortly before his death. This is enough to lead Marker back to Japan, to Okinawa, to contemplate the notions of atrocity and recollection.
"In slow-motion you can see that the woman turns back and spots the camera. Do we know she would have jumped, if she hadn't known she was being watched?... The woman in Saipan saw the lens and knew foreign devils would show the world she hadn't had the guts to jump. So she jumped. The cameraman aimed at her like a hunter, through his sights, and he shot her." Powerful stuff.