PICTURES FROM A HIROSHIMA SCHOOLYARD
About the Film
A collection of surprisingly joyful drawings created by school children living among the ruins of Hiroshima in 1947 becomes the heart and soul of this true, inspiring story about an exchange of gifts between Americans and Japanese after a devastating war. This powerful documentary about reconciliation and the power of gift, introduces the children artists (now in their late 70s) who reflect on their early lives amidst the rubble of their destroyed city and the hope they shared through their art. In 2010, the newly restored drawings, buried for decades deep inside All Souls Church in Washington DC, are taken back to Japan where they are reunited with the artists and exhibited in the very building where they were created.
“The people of All Souls Church are the keepers of a treasure…”
In 1995, a box is uncovered at the home of a parishioner of All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington D.C. In that box are 48 colorful drawings made by children as thanks for gifts received from the church fifty years earlier. The brightly colored pictures depict scenes of beauty and joy—self-portraits, a cityscape, festival flags and kites flying against a bright blue sky, children on a playground, cherry blossoms in bloom, city traffic on a bridge, a girl in a beautiful kimono—these were the subjects the children chose to draw. There are no pictures of sadness, no trauma, no fear. None of the pictures reflect the horror that these children had endured less than two years earlier when a bomb, like no other before it, was dropped and detonated above their homes in the city of Hiroshima, Japan.