"As the only child of parents born and raised in Hiroshima, I am fucking livid"

Asian Americans have expressed their frustration about Evan Rachel Wood starring in a film about the Hiroshima bombing

HuffPost reports that Asian Americans are angry about Evan Rachel Wood starring in Hiroshima film One Thousand Paper Cranes.

The film is based on the true story of Hiroshima survivor Sadako Sasaki – a young girl who folded 1,000 origami cranes hoping to be granted a wish. Sadako was diagnosed with leukaemia at age two from radiation caused by the atomic bomb that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.

One Thousand Paper Cranes‘ main character is Canadian born American writer Eleanor Coerr who published a children’s book titled Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes in 1977. Wood will star as Coerr in the film.

English actor Jim Sturgess and Japanese actress Shinobu Terajima also star in the upcoming film.

Asian Americans have since spoken up about the news that Wood is taking on the lead character in a film about the Hiroshima bombing.

Sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen told HuffPost that the film exemplified how “Hollywood cannot deal with U.S./Asia wars without co-opting Asian voices.”

“I wondered whether a story about the devastation of Hiroshima told through a white author’s lens would ever address the fact that the United States committed an act of war that killed a total of 192,020 people (including those killed instantly and those killed by the radiation in the aftermath),” she said.

“This type of story typically does not honor the victims because, like ‘The Help,’ the white female author’s voice becomes privileged over those of the women of color she tried to capture,” she added.

On Twitter, one user wrote, “As the granddaughter to two women who were within the 2km radius of ground-zero. As the only child of parents born and raised in Hiroshima. I am fucking livid. Sadako, her story, and what paper cranes mean and represent to me is beyond sacred.”

“Every good story needs a white person to tell it,” Angry Asian Man tweeted.

One Thousand Paper Cranes’ director Richard Raymond responded to the criticism by saying he has “seen all the feedback and recognize everyone’s concerns. We would love to use this moment as an opportunity to clarify a couple aspects of our film.”

He added that the film is based on Takayuki Ishii’s book One Thousand Paper Cranes: The Story of Sadako and the Children’s Peace Statue. Ishii was contacted by the director five years ago “in the spirit of a close collaboration to ensure Sadako’s story, and that of all Hibakusha, was honored with the utmost cultural respect.”

Raymond said the film will be told from Sadako’s “point of view, filmed in Japanese with a Japanese cast.”

“The film separately tells the story of Eleanor Coerr, who wrote the fictional children’s book ‘Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes’ (which this film is not based on) and brought the story to international fame, further cementing Sadako’s legacy of peace and hope through the powerful symbol she created,” he said.

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