Parents' Guide to

Snow Falling on Cedars

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Good movie for adults and older teens.

Movie PG-13 2000 127 minutes
Snow Falling on Cedars Poster Image

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There has never been a movie more literally true to its title -- SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS is indeed a movie with many long, loving scenes of snow falling on cedars. There are also scenes of raindrops plopping in puddles and autumn leaves blowing and children running on the beach. In between, there is a story, impressionistically told, about a murder trial.

As journalist Ishmael Chambers (Ethan Hawke) sits in the balcony of the courtroom taking notes, the background is revealed in snippets and images: Ishmael and Miyamoto's wife, Hatsue, devoted to each other as children and teenagers. Ishmael's father, losing subscribers and advertisers because of his editorials against racism. Heine's father, promising Miyamoto's father that he would not foreclose while they were in the interment camp. Heine's mother, foreclosing after her husband died. Hatsue's mother, telling her to stay away from white boys. Ishmael, unable to stop thinking about Hatsue.

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