“Paper Lanterns” – Documentary film about WWII American POWs killed by Hiroshima atomic bombing

Film Paper Lanterns

Film “Paper Lanterns” (2016)

Film: Paper Lanterns (2016)
60 min, English
Directed by Barry Frechette

Barry Frechette

Even the worst of events can bring us together and show the best that being a human can mean. On August 6th, 1945, among the tens of thousands that lost their lives in the bombing of Hiroshima were 12 American POWs.

Shigeaki Mori witnessed the blast and survived, but was forever changed.

Paper Lanterns tells the story of Shigeaki Mori and his lifelong calling to tell the story of not only the many Japanese victims of the bomb, but of Normand Brissette, Ralph Neal and the ten other US airmen caught in the hell on earth of that day.

Our journey in the film takes us from Lowell, Massachusetts to Harrodsburg, Kentucky to Hiroshima to tell the story of Mori and the 12 US airmen.

And show how the war impacted families in both countries, and how one man can rise above the hatred of war and heal the wounds of those terrible days.

On May 27th, 2016, President Obama was the first sitting United States President to visit Hiroshima, Japan. During that visit, he was seen embracing one of the survivors.

That survivor, Shigeaki Mori, was the focus of our documentary. His work recognizing the 12 American POWs killed in Hiroshima have caught the eyes of many in both governments, and Mr. Mori was added to the list on attendees that day. The rest is part of history now.

Since May, 2016, we have been featured on NHK World, BBC, CBS, PBS Newshour, USA Today, CNN, Washington Post and more.


The film is directed by Barry Frechette, and Max Esposito is DP and Editor. The music is composed by Chad Cannon, and features Silk Road Ensemble shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki and Japanese pop singer Mai Fujisawa vocals on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and daughter of the famous Japanese composer, Joe Hisaishi), and was recorded in the historic EastWest Studios by a Hollywood orchestra.