Cinéma du Réel - International documentary film festival
Futaba kara toku hanarete dainibu
D.R.

Futaba kara toku hanarete dainibu

Nuclear Nation II

Atsushi Funahashi

2014 / Japan / 114 min

i Thursday 19 March 16H15 Cinéma 2
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English

i Wednesday 25 March 14H30 Cinéma 1
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English +DEBATE

i Thursday 26 March 18H30 Luminor
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English +DEBATE

The simple “II” in the title Nuclear Nation, indicating that a sequel to the 2012 documentary indeed exists, immediately raises concerns as to the fate of the inhabitants of Futaba, the town where the Fukushima power station was sited. But Atsushi Funahashi’s determination not to abandon the small community that the authorities promised to rehouse sine die gives his initiative its full breadth. His endurance and patience when filming the passing seasons from winter 2011 to spring 2014 in Kazo high-school, now converted into a shelter, help keep alive the prospects of collective action. Originally duped by the Faustian pact that brought them prosperity during the 1960s, the older residents – however wealthy they used to be – are now powerless to deal with the authorities. The chronicle of the increasing daily hardship of those unable to rehouse themselves is fleshed out by an auscultation of local and national political machinery. Initially a bland figure, the new mayor of Futaba comes to embody the suffering of having one’s hands tied in the exercise of power. The film’s success hinges on its ability to use cinema’s resources to combine critique and a closeness to people and things—the textile printing technique shown to him by an octogenarian in the shelter, or a deceased husband’s portrait that a woman, allowed back into her irradiated house for two hours, places amidst the ruins so he will protect them. This portrait standing next to the packets of rat poison poignantly crystallises not only her loss but also her dawning awareness. (Charlotte Garson)