CODE NAME: Nagasaki is one of the most refreshingly unique documentaries I’ve seen in a long time. The film focuses on Marius K. Lunde, a Japanese Norwegian man as he searches for his mother. When he was five years old, his mother left for her home country of Japan, cut off communication with the family and he never heard from her again. Years later he embarks on a quest to find her and reconnect. Along with his friend, filmmaker Fredrik S. Hana, the two make a documentary about his journey. The film is presented in chapters. Each of these have their own titles as though they were short films stitched together making one feature film. It combines documentary footage along with reenactments and imaginings. These vignettes are a beautiful combination of film noir and Japanese horror and are played out by Marius. He plays the dual roles of film noir detective and the demon that has haunted him for years. Fredrik and Marius travel to Japan to find her and scenes that could not be filmed (or were chosen not to be filmed) are presented with animation.
CODE NAME: Nagasaki is an ingenious documentary. I loved the combination of filmmaking styles. None of it felt gimmicky. Instead, it felt authentic and the film just had this organic flow to it. Highly recommended.
CODE NAME: Nagasaki premiered at the virtual 2021 Slamdance Film Festival