Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Film Screening: "Nuclear Nation"

Announcement from H-Japan:

Date: Wednesday, November 28th, at 18:30
Place: University of Tokyo, Collaboration Room 3 (4F), Building 18, Komaba Campus.
Film Length: 96 minutes. Subtitles: English. Trailer
Language: English | No registration required

Director: Funahashi Atsushi, Documentary Japan
Discussant: Sato Yoshiaki

While the Japanese government announced that the Tohoku nuclear crisis has been "stabilized" in November of 2011, the 20 km no-entry zone around the leaking plant in Fukushima remains in effect. Today, over a year after the disaster, there are as yet no plans for the thousands of evacuated residents to return home.

Director Funahashi Atsushi's film Nuclear Nation tells the story of Futaba, a small town inside the Fukushima no-entry zone. Located just 4 km from the nuclear plant, Futaba was evacuated in the early days of the crisis, as the plant operator struggled to bring the triple meltdown under control. Over 1,400 residents were relocated to an unused high school in Saitama, where they faced an unknown future.

Nuclear Nation patiently explores the lives of the town's refugees, in their search for both justice and a way forward. Through extensive interviews with former residents and local officials, the film gives a history of the invisible nuclear economy in Japan that is both lucid and highly revealing.

In the tradition of the best of Japanese documentary cinema, Funahashi has gone to extraordinary lengths to depict the situation of the Fukushima refugees, to communicate their voices, and to interrogate the promises and contradictions of the government's energy policy at the level of everyday life.

We are pleased invite you to join us for this special screening, to be followed by a discussion and Q & A with the director.

Funahashi Atsushi is an independent filmmaker working in both dramatic and documentary modes. His first films — Echoes (2001) and Big River (2006) — were produced while Funahashi lived in the United States. After returning to Japan in 2007, he has directed Deep in the Valley (2009), Nuclear Nation (2012), and Cold Bloom (2012). Funahashi's work has received wide critical attention and screenings at numerous international film festivals.

Prof. Sato Yoshiaki has taught American Literature and Popular Music in the Department of Culture and Representation at the University of Tokyo, Komaba. His publications include The Evolution of J-POP (1999) and What Was the Beatles? (2006). A distinguished translator, Prof. Sato has translated Gregory Bateson's Mind and Nature and Steps to an Ecology of Mind into Japanese. At present, he is translating the completed novels of Thomas Pynchon.

For more information: http://utcp.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/events/2012/11/film_screening_nuclear_nation/index_en.php

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