paper city - ペーパーシティ

Watch trailer One night. 100,000 dead. a documentary about the firebombing of Tokyo
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In 1945, the US firebombed Tokyo, destroying a quarter of the city and killing 100,000 people. Now, in a society rapidly forgetting, three elderly survivors fight to leave behind a public record of their experiences before they pass away. Paper City explores what we choose to remember, and aim to forget—and what the consequences of that are.

Hiroshi Hoshino 'If towns and cities are attacked, civilians will be killed.'
“If towns and cities
are attacked,
civilians will be killed.”
Hiroshi Hoshino
14 years old at the time of the bombing
Minoru Tsukiyama 'We mustn't go to war again.'
“We mustn't go
to war again.”
Minoru Tsukiyama
16 years old at the time of the bombing
Michiko Kiyooka 'The line between life and death was paper-thin.'
“The line between
life and death
was paper-thin.”
Michiko Kiyooka
21 years old at the time of the bombing

A groundbreaking feature documentary.

Malcolm Gladwell, Revisionist History

It is difficult to imagine a better film could have been made on this subject.

Christine Judith Nicholls, The Conversation

A poignant exploration of trauma, remembrance, and the state’s role in gatekeeping accounts of history.

Al Cossar, Artistic Director, Melbourne International Film Festival

An extraordinary, unsettling, powerful doco.

Jim Schembri, Film Critic

A touching record of the filmmaker’s efforts to better understand a place and a people he has come to know – and a history he was never taught.

Kenta McGrath, ScreenHub

By raising unsettling moral questions about the targeting of civilians during WWII, the film challenges prevailing American narratives of the ‘Good War.’

David Fedman, Assistant Professor of History, UC Irvine



2023 Lane Doc Fest

Best Humanity Feature (Won)

Tokyo Documentary Film Festival

Audience Award — Documentary Feature (Won)

40th ATOM Awards

Best Documentary — History (Won)

Best Documentary — General (Finalist)

22nd Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival

Nippon Docs Award — Best Documentary (Nominee)

7th Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

Best Melbourne Documentary (Won)
Best Emerging Director (Australia) — Adrian Francis (Won)

Best Australian Documentary (Nominee)

Best Director (Australia) — Adrian Francis (Nominee)

Current Screenings
AUS & NZ — streaming on Docplay

(80 minute version)

Worldwide – streaming on Kanopy (selected universities & public libraries)

(80 minute version)

Upcoming Screenings
To be announced
Past Screenings
Tokyo – Eigakan Stranger (Kikukawa)
Worldwide — streaming on Al Jazeera
Kanagawa — Yokohama Midori Art Park
Tokyo — Hikifune Cultural Centre
Australia — streaming on Stan.
Gunma — Takasaki Denkikan
Chiba — 9th Urayasu Documentary Film Festival
Free screening & Director Q&A at Sophia University (Tokyo)
Saitama — Fukuya Cinema
Nagano — Nagano Aioiza Roxy
Hokkaido — Sapporo Theatre Kino
Toyama — Hotoriza
Hyogo — Kobe Planet Film Archive
Hiroshima — Yokogawa Cinema
Kyoto — Demachiza
Kagoshima—Garden’s Cinema
Kanagawa — Yokohama Cinemarine
Belleville Downtown DOCFEST—Documentary Film Festival (Canada)
Aichi — Nagoya Cinemark
Nagano — Ueda Eigeki (Ueda City)
Osaka — Dainana Geijustu Gekijou
Tokyo — Theatre Image Forum (Shibuya)
Nippon Connection On Demand 2022: Replay!
19th Barcelona International Film Festival, 2022 (Spain)
Africa International Film Festival, 2022 (Lagos, Nigeria)
Tokyo Documentary Film Festival, 2022 (Japan)
31st Heartland International Film Festival, 2022 (Indiana, US)
19th SIMFEST International Film & Television Festival, 2022 (Romania)
18th Newburyport Documentary Film Festival, 2022 (Massachusetts, US)
14th Rasnov Film & Histories Festival, 2022 (Romania)
7th Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, 2022 (Australia)
Nippon Connection on demand, 2022 (Germany)
22nd Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival, 2022 (European premiere, Germany)
25th Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2022 (US)
37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2022 (International premiere, US)
69th Melbourne International Film Festival, 2021 (World premiere, Australia)

A film by Adrian Francis. Financed with the assistance of Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) Premiere Fund, Screen Australia, CAMPFIRE/Good Morning, and Documentary Australia Foundation.