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Interview with Setsuko Thurlow

November 6, 2017

Last week the incredible Setsuko Thurlow, who as a thirteen year old girl survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, invited Miranda Huba and I into her home her home in Toronto for an interview and discussion. We brought with us a young man we had met in Hiroshima this past August, Samuel Joseph. After some sweets and discussion Miranda and I presented Setsuko with a piece of Navajo jewelry collected from the week before during my time time in the southwest researching uranium mining. Our conversation over snacks drifted around a length of random topics and stories in a very relaxed manner. She is such an incredibly charming host. We turned to business after a time and sat her down in front of the camera. Since we didn't want necessarily her accounting of the day of the bombing, though it is critical to our story, we asked her to begin with her childhood memories of the city. Setsuko painted an incredible picture of pre war Japan and the years of the war which led to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some of these stories we will be putting in future newsletters, making available online as well as including in the finished film. It was amazing witnessing the discussion between Samuel and Setsuko-san at the dining room table. They formed a connection very quickly which was aided I think by Samuel, surprising us all, began the conversation in excellent Japanese. The format we are using for A Hand Through The Smoke of pairing youth with mentors really has been paying off and this exchange was I think one of the highlights to watch. Now I am in Scotland researching the disarmament movement going on here and the political implications of housing the Trident submarine base in Scottish waters. The next newsletter will include many stories from Scotland, please stay tuned.

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