The Girl from Nagasaki
New Frontier Film


English and Japanese with English subtitles, 2013, 107 minutes, color, Germany/U.S.A./Japan/Italy

Michel Comte’s dazzling feature debut renders this modern love story as an epic, overt spectacle of romance and loss, and a marvel of formal construction.

Based upon Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, the film introduces Cho-Cho, a child survivor of the cataclysmic bombing of Nagasaki at the end of World War II. The daughter of a geisha, Cho-Cho sets her sights on becoming the wife of a brilliant, young American military pilot based in Japan—and she succeeds. Trained as an astronaut, her new husband departs for a mission. Even though he promises to return, Cho-Cho feels she has been left to manufacture hope in the face of despair.

Comte deftly shuttles between modes of presentation—ballet, video art, opera—presenting a life story through numerous revealing windows. Expertly modulated, these overlapping narrative/performative facets bring expansiveness to the telling of Cho-Cho’s heartbreaking story—with time, attention, and high art graciously embellishing and dignifying every dimension of her experience.

Director: Michel Comte

Screenwriters: Anne-Marie Mackay, Michel Comte

Producers: Michel Comte, Ayako Yoshida, Amy Filbeck

Music: Alessandro Cipriani, Luigi Ceccarelli

Costume Designer: Ayako Yoshida

Production Designer: James Dean

Editor: Nick Tamburri

Sound Design: Maurizio Argentieri

Principal Cast: Mariko Wordell, Edoardo Ponti, Christopher Lee, Michael Wincott, Michael Nyqvist, Polina Semionova

About the Director

Artist Michel Comte was born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1954. The professionally trained art restorer approached photography autodidactically. In 1979, Comte received his first international advertising assignment, moving to Paris to work with Karl Lagerfeld for the fashion house Chloé. His work on Vogue magazine led him to New York, and he eventually took residence in Los Angeles. Comte has since evolved into one of the world's most sought-after fashion and magazine photographers. More recently, he has focused on features, and The Girl from Nagasaki is his directorial debut.


1/21/2014 2:30 pm
Library Center Theatre, Park City
1/22/2014 9:45 pm
Broadway Centre Cinema 3, SLC
1/23/2014 7:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema 4, Park City
1/25/2014 6:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema 2, Park City