Some Divine Wind

In this 1991 debut feature Roddy Bogawa ruminates on ethnic identity, cultural memory, the fragility of relationships, and the inescapable horrors of Hiroshima. The film's discourse, realized on the sound track as a quizzical dialogue between a young Japanese-American and his Caucasian girlfriend, occasionally digresses but always returns to their uneasy bond, while the images (domestic scenes, the young man cruising down the San Diego Freeway on a bicycle, found footage of atrocities) are a jumble of fragments that make sense only through repetition. The film's narrative strategy suggests Jean-Luc Godard's wide-ranging essays without the intellectual guile, while its poetic evocation of futile communication recalls Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour, another story of a doomed liaison between East and West.

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