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Mission

Pittsburgh based indie film company, DaliborkaFilms, seeks to produce passion projects that inspire and entertain. Everyone has a story to tell and we are proud to help bring those stories to life. 

Our documentaries, music videos, and promotional films highlight fascinating people, incredible places, and important work being done in Pittsburgh and beyond!

 
 
 
 
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Day of the Western Sunrise

'Day of the Western Sunrise' is a Japanese-language, animated documentary following three surviving fishermen from the tuna trawler Daigo Fukuryu Maru, or the Lucky Dragon No. 5.  The second full-length documentary produced by Daliborka Films, 'Day of the Western Sunrise' introduces us to the forgotten story of the Lucky Dragon, the Castle Bravo nuclear tests, and the damage and devastation still felt in Japan almost 65 years later.  

 

 
 
 

The Story

On March 1st, 1954, the US detonated Castle Bravo on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.  This detonation was the first in a series of six thermonuclear weapon tests, and remains the largest and most powerful nuclear weapon detonated by the United States.  The blast was three times larger than predicted, and deposited radioactive fallout as far away as Australia.  Almost immediately, the 23 fishermen began experiencing symptoms of radiation sickness and, when they returned to Japan two weeks later, they were quarantined.  During their 15 months in a Tokyo hospital, they became the subjects of intense medical scrutiny by both Japanese doctors who sought to treat them, and American doctors that sought to study them.  When they were finally released from the hospital, they had to integrate themselves back into communities that did not understand radiation sickness.  Many of the fishermen were shunned by friends and family and eventually forced into hiding.  

'Day of the Western Sunrise' is a human interest documentary that uses first-hand survivor accounts to craft an urgent and heartfelt narrative.  

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The Lucky Dragon No. 5

"There were 23 crew men on board for this particular voyage..."

The Animation

The film is animated in a style we are calling 'kamishibai-inspired' animation.  'Kamishibai' is a Japanese storytelling tradition literally translated as 'paper-drama.' Paper characters are designed, drawn, then animated in a 3D computer simulated environment.  This style helps to draw in and anchor the audience in the compelling recounting of the fishermen's tale.  Over 2,000 individual drawings were produced for this project, and the final film contains over 500 animated shots.  The following drawings represent the steps taken by the filmmakers during animation.  Rough sketches were made into storyboards, then turned into computer models.  

 

 

The Fishermen

The detonation of Castle Bravo changed the lives of the fishermen forever.  The 23 crew-members of Daigo Fukuryu Maru had no idea what was in store for them when they left Japan on January 22nd, 1954.  Most of the fishermen had been at sea before, but they were young and forced into menial jobs because of Japan's defeat during World War II.  Now in their 80's, there are currently 5 surviving crew members from this particular voyage and three of them were very excited to speak with American journalists.  During the interview process, the fishermen touched on their lives before the war, the life of a Japanese fishermen in the 1950's the bomb blast and fallout, and their time in the hospital.  The featured fishermen were all on different parts of the boat when the bomb went off allowing the filmmakers to animate a very detailed and accurate portrayal of what happened that day.  

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Matashichi Oishi

Refrigeration

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Susumu Misaki

Wheelman

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Masaho Ikeda

Engineer

The Outreach

The filmmakers strongly believe that the message of this film has the power to initiate dialogue and spark change.  This film speaks to the activist, educational, and entertainment communities alike.  With that in mind, we have partnered with various regional and national organizations that are working to spread the word about the film.  In addition to film festival and event screenings, we have created educational toolkits for educators to use if they wish to teach using this subject matter.  



The Screenings

"Day of the Western Sunrise" World Premiere
September 29/30th
Row House Cinema, Pittsburgh, PA
*Fund-Raising Event for the Daigo Fukuryu Maru Exhibition Hall
**World Premiere brought to you by...

 
 
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