Obayashi's 40-year career defined by warning of war's horror

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October 26, 2019 - 11:54 pm

In this Oct. 11, 2019, photo, Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi holds up his hand in the sign language of “I love you” to stress that is an important message in his films, during an interview at his studio in Tokyo. Obayashi has been diagnosed with fatal lung cancer, but his confrontation with death began so long ago it has characterized his entire four decades of filmmaking. Obayashi has stayed true to himself during that whole time, producing more than 40 movies and thousands of TV shows, commercials and other video, devoted to sending the same message, over and over, to warn the world of the horrors of war. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)

TOKYO (AP) — Nobuhiko Obayashi has terminal lung cancer, but his confrontation with death began so long ago it has characterized his decades of filmmaking.

The filmmaker being honored at the Tokyo Film Festival opening Monday has stayed true to his message about the horrors of war through more than 40 movies and thousands of TV shows, commercials and other video.

He told The Associated Press he believes in the power of movies, saying, "Movies are not weak. Movies express freedom."

The works reflect that he grew up during World War II years remembered for Japan's aggression and atrocities against its neighbors but also a period during which Japanese people suffered hunger, abuse and mass death.

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