Barefoot Gen 2 (1986)
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
Watching this and it’s predecessor in quick succession, it’ll be hard to separate these two films in my mind, such is the continuation of the story. Here we find Gen three years on from the Hiroshima bomb, still trying to survive as the country attempts to find its feet. Food is scarce, people are still dying. The enemy here is clearly the US “Yankee’s” and their bomb, unlike the first film where at least joint responsibility was firmly pointed at the Japanese government who took them to war. It’s very much the message of innocent civilians that get tangled in the wars dictated by those in power. This doesn’t have the brutal punch of the first film, it’s more of a slow skewering as radiation poisoning takes hold and the realisation that this was no ordinary bomb. In general it does feel more positive, maybe partly due the ridiculously positive music, whoever was directing the music on this loves a good singalong, but it’s still about losing loved ones and struggling to survive in a home that’s become a wasteland. Trying to find income, food, shelter, medicine and learning to start anew, with new friends, new family and renewed hope.