The movie by renowned SA film director, Scott Hicks, is a beautifully crafted adaption of the best selling 1995 novel of the same name by David Guterson. It is set in the north west of America, and deals with the story of the death of a fisherman (Carl) in what appears to the townspeople to be suspicious circumstances. The suspect is a Japanese fisherman, Kazuo Miyamoto, who goes on trial as much for the murder as for being Japanese in post WWII America (the film is set nine years after Pearl Harbor).
The film tells the story of the trial as it unfolds, with frequent flashbacks through they eyes of the town’s reporter, who was friends with Kazuo as a child, and a childhood friend/lover with Kazuo’s wife Hatsue. The small town trial, which appears to be a straight forward case of murder sparked by anger, frustration and retaliation, draws deeply from the well of racial prejudice and ignorant assumptions based on ethnicity.
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Link : Snow Falling on Cedars
Download: Discussion Guide for Snow Falling on Cedars (pdf)