Snow Falling on Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars

DVD - 2000
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In 1954 a fisherman from San Piedro Island in Puget Sound is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese-American is charged with his murder. The trial is haunted by memories of what happened to the Japanese residents during World War II when the entire community was sent into exile.


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Jun 04, 2019

Stopped reading the book on first attempt, because found the writing overly descriptive and tedious. My wife had seen the movie long ago, so I watched it alone last night. For an atmospheric piece with lots of flashbacks to different periods of the protagonists' lives, I found the movie uniquely constructed and compelling. So I made another attempt to read the book and completed it. For my taste, he goes overboard on graphic descriptions, but I'm glad I read it.

Dec 04, 2018

The book is better at capturing the interior, reflective thoughts in this story than the slow-moving, ponderous film adaptation. It mixes an ocean murder mystery, a bi-racial love story, a call to preserve freedom of the press, and an examination of a Pacific NW community's reaction to the WWII internment of Japanese-American citizens being ripped from their homes. There's a poignant scene where a decorated Japanese-American soldier, home at last, attempts to retrieve the family strawberry farm. The actors are good in long scenes set in a courtroom, against a frequently visually dark and snowy background (most of the filming was done in Canada, with some on Whidbey Island). The memory flashbacks are sometimes awkwardly introduced and performed.

Aug 26, 2016

My favorite movie - beautiful cinematography.

Jan 26, 2015

This is a 1999 film directed by Scott Hicks, based on David Guterson's award-winning novel of the same title.
It tells a riveting tale of mystery with a sad, heart-wrenching yet powerful love story in both the background and foreground.
A murder trial has upset the quiet community and now this tranquil village has become the center of controversy.
For Ishmael Chambers, a local reporter, the trial strikes a deep emotional chord when he finds his ex-lover is linked to the case.
As he investigates the killing, he uncovers some startling clues that lead him to a shocking discovery.
This is one of the best suspenseful, mind-boggling and thought-provoking movies in the recent years.
How come it didn't win the Oscar best picture?

Jan 05, 2013

A beautiful rendition of the book by David Guterson. The defense lawyer's summation is powerful!

voisjoe1 Dec 25, 2012

Around WWII, a returning Japanese-American soldier is charged with he murder of a white neighbor over land stolen from his father while the Japanese-American family was confined to a concentration camps for Japanese-American citizens living in California. The story portrays the white populace, some prejudiced against the Japanese-Americans, others that know the Japanese-Americans were patriotic. This small film garnered an Oscar nomination for cinematography along with wins for cinematograph at the Chicago, Las Vegas, and Dallas-Fort Worth film festivals.


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Dec 04, 2018

Other: Xenophobia, expressed by people from American and Scandinavian cultures, and to a lesser extent, from Japanese culture.

Dec 04, 2018

Sexual Content: Sex scenes, tactfully done (implied).

Dec 04, 2018

Violence: A fisherman drowns and the resulting autopsy is graphic; a newspaper reporter receives death threats; a soldier has bloody WWII flashbacks.

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