Producer, director, George Levenson; writer, Eleanor Coerr; drawings, Ed Young
This iconographic film is the true story of a young Japanese girl who became a modern heroine of peace. Sadako Sasaki was born in Hiroshima in 1943. She was two when the atom bomb exploded, and until she was eleven, grew strong and healthy, excelling at track and field. One day, after a relay race at school, Sadako felt strange and dizzy but kept her condition secret. Weeks later, Sadako collapsed while running and was later diagnosed with leukemia, "the atom bomb" disease. Visiting her in the hospital, Sadako's closest friend told her that, according to an ancient legend, if she folded 1,000 paper cranes, she might be granted her wish to become well again. Though becoming weaker and weaker, Sadako continued to make the origami birds, but sadly, on October 25, 1955, she died. Friends and classmates folded the remaining paper birds so that she could be buried with the thousand cranes. Sadako's story spread throughout Japan and a Paper Crane Club was established. In 1958, a statue of Sadako was erected in Hiroshima's Peace Park. From then on, children of many nations sent paper cranes to the site of the atomic holocaust inscribed with the plea: "This is our cry, this is our prayer, Peace in the world."