Fukushima: Memories of The Lost Landscape

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 “Fukushima: Memories of the Lost Landscape,” a film documenting the tsunami and earthquake disasters’ aftermath, starts out like a web cam video blog, showing filmmaker Yojyu Matsubayashi in his Tokyo apartment some 140 miles away riding out the shaking and aftershocks.

It poignantly turns to document the loss of human lives and a way of life, including the stories of the tsunami’s rural survivors whose surroundings have been destroyed.

The sold-out screening was part of the “Reality Bites” section of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Matsubayashi’s film, made in 2011, began when the freelance video journalist brought relief supplies to Fukushima. He ended up staying in order to understand what the survivors were going through.
The longer he stayed, the more he witnessed different stories unfold. His immediate, on-the-ground footage captures the tragedy, as well as the dignity, resilience and bravery of the evacuees.

In one scene, Matsubayashi accompanies Mrs. Tanaka, a dedicated city councilwoman, inside the 20-kilometer zone of Okuma town, where the Daiichi nuclear plant is located. They find that several homes have been vandalized and stop to feed horses and dogs that have been left behind. The footage of the devastation is interspersed with cherry trees and hydrangeas bursting into bloom, heedless of what nature has wrought. Mrs. Tanaka observes that they can cope with the tsunami as a force of nature, but not with the nuclear radiation. A city councilman sadly recalls that only the local Communist Party opposed the construction of the nuclear plant. Read more here.