Fukushima Film Project/100,000 Years

A lot of interesting documentaries right now, one is the film from Finland about their 100,000 year storage project, yet to be finalized, about dealing with highly radioactive waste.

How can we, who have only a history of buildings, like the pyramids, that date back some 5,000 years, even start to consider a time-frame of danger of 100,000 years?

The film is showing in Tokyo in August. Catch it at Tokyo Northern Lights Festival in Shibuya. Schedule (JP):

Tokyo Northern Lights Festival

Our mankind exists 50,000 years. 我々人類誕生から5万年。
The pyramids are 5,000 years. ピラミッドらが5千年。
Nuclear waste is toxic for 100,000 years. 放射性廃棄物の毒性は10万年。
To protect ourselves. それらから我々を守る。
We try to build a storage. 我々は貯蔵施設の建造を試みる。
It must last 100,000 years. 10万年後まで(毒性を)封印する必要がある。
Construction has begun... 建造が始められた...。
Into eternity. 永遠に。

Another film, a Japanese production, is not yet ready, but seems very beautiful.

Totecheeta Chiquitita is a very moving project. Scheduled to be released in march, 2012, to mark the one year anniversary of the earthquake.tsunami.nuclear.disaster, (I'm getting tired of typing it) this could be great.

Tokyo Graph: Fukushima Film Project “Totecheeta Chiquitita” to proceed with filming
The movie will still be shot in Fukushima, reflecting the region’s current conditions and hopefully dispelling the negative images people may have of the area.

The story revolves around Yuriko, a survivor of the Tokyo air raids in 1945 who is now a 70-year-old retired teacher. The family members she lost during the air raids have been reborn into the present with different lives. Her mother is now a bizarre young girl (Jurina), her father is a “slightly depressed high school boy” (Hayama), and her brother is a “middle-aged loser on the verge of bankruptcy” (Toyohara). They all reunite in Fukushima, where Yuriko now lives alone.

“Totecheeta Chiquitita” takes its title from a line in the children’s song “Omocha no Cha Cha Cha” and from the ABBA song “Chiquitita.”

Filming starts on October 8 and is expected to finish in November. The movie is planned to premiere first in Fukushima next March, followed by screenings in independent theaters around the country.

From the official website, Fukushima Film Project

We would like to extend our sincerest condolences and prayers for the loss of precious life due to the Tohoku Great Earthquake on March 11. Our deepest sorrow goes to those victims and their families who are suffering from the damage.

Since the spring of 2008, we started developing the plan of “Totecheeta Chiquitita”, the film set in Fukushima (where the producer was born and raised). We conducted the preparatory location hunting in Date-city and Fukushima-city, and finished writing the script. In February 2011, we confirmed the generous support pledged by the local government, business organizations and individuals in Fukushima prefecture, and we started the casting process and scheduled the filming to be started in August 2011.

But now, we can no longer expect the pledged support from the people and organizations in Fukushima who are suffering tremendously from the damage.

We were about to give up… then, we started to hear many voices from Fukushima…

“I want to see the movie giving Fukushima pride and hope”

“We need the movie to show the world the wonderful people and beautiful places of Fukushima and to get the tourists and business back to Fukushima”

“Fukushima kids who are in the shelter in other cities are alienated because of the harmful rumor. We need the movie which can dispel the negative images about Fukushima”

People of Fukushima believe in the power of the movie.

So, what can film makers do?

It’s simple. We can make a film which can help Fukushima. We should just go back to work.

We have determined that we would start filming in August as the original schedule, do the premier screening in Fukushima before Christmas this year, and donate DVD to the shelters. Part of the profit will be donated to the Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund.

We will greatly appreciate your help to make this happen. No amount is too small. Please click here to see how to help this project.

Tatsuko Kokatsu

Japan Offspring Fund is also working on a documentary about the "Truth About Fukushima 311" or ""Inochi--From Fukushima to Our Future" with a well-known award-winning director, Katsuhiko Hayashi.

Japan Offspring Fund: “The Truth About Fukushima 311”
Deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in Fukushima since March 11, 2011, JOF has a mission to change public opinion regarding nuclear energy. We have a long history as an independent NPO that is strongly opposed to nuclear power generation. To complete this mission, JOF believes we should make a film called “The Truth about Fukushima 311” (tentative title), and release this film using the Internet to viewers all over the world.

Fukushima has already changed the energy policies in several other countries. Japan, however, appears to have great difficulties to review or even discuss its heavy dependency on nuclear power generation (there are 55 nuclear power generators in Japan). We do not agree with the current lack of debate in Japan, and we must do something.

How to donate (JP):

口座記号番号 00120-7-512611
口座名 特定非営利活動法人食品と暮らしの安全基金

店番 〇一九(019)店  当座 0512611
口座名 トクヒ)ショクヒントクラシノアンゼンキキン

The first disaster documentary may be Mujo Sobyo, by director Koichi Omiya. The title translates as "The Sketch of Mujo" or a first glimpse of impermanence.

Director Koichi Omiya says that he had wanted to complete and deliver the film as soon as possible. "In a way, I was driven by a need to keep the memory of the disaster intact," he says. "Which is strange, because the landscape is so devastated you'd think the visual memory would haunt the mind forever. On the other hand, there was a part of me that thought, or rather knew, that unless I got everything down on film, it would get distorted, or huge chunks of memory would fade away."
A truly epic film, made with very little funding. Worth seeing.

Mujō is a Buddhist concept, meaning "transience" or "impermanence." From time immemorial, the Japanese have deployed it to explain tragedies great and small, to alleviate the sadness of separation and death and to remind themselves that after all, this world is but a stepping stone on the path to achieving nirvana.

"This is a country of disasters," says Omiya. "We go through such rapid cycles of change and destruction, and I suppose that in the process, the Japanese wound up with a short memory span. It's not possible to remember everything, because so much is happening all the time. Forgetting is a way of self-protection. How else are we to cope?

"But in the case of the 3/11 disaster, I wanted to extend that memory, for six months at least. That's why I rushed the film to a theater opening as soon as I could."

The release of "Mujo Sobyo" coincides with the 100th day since the disaster; according to Buddhist rites, this is the day when the living may let go of sorrow, pick up the pieces and carry on.
The Japan Times: First Tohoku documentary captures tsunami aftermath

Meanwhile, outgoing prime minister Naoto Kan told Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato to host "temporary" sites for the nuclear waste. Well, where else to put it? And for how long...? 100,000 years? Now, we can only sense the "mujo" and carry on, except we know that generation after generation will judge us, and wonder how we made those decisions. And ask, why didn't we pay more attention to the concerns. 100,000 years later, will such questions not be raised?

From Asahi Japan Watch: Kan urges Fukushima to host dumps for nuclear waste
August 29, 2011
Prime Minister Naoto Kan promised the governor of Fukushima Prefecture over the weekend that the central government will build final dumping sites for radioactive waste outside the prefecture, while at the same time asking Governor Yuhei Sato to host temporary sites for the waste.

However, it remains unclear if the promise made by the outgoing leader will be honored under the new administration.

Despite the pledge, the government has no specific locations for the final resting ground in mind, sources said.

Kan urged Sato on Aug. 27 to host temporary storage sites for a huge amount of radioactive soil and wreckage left in the prefecture from the tsunami and nuclear disaster resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Kan's request came before he promised to build facilities outside the prefecture as the final disposal sites.

"We request that you host temporary storage sites in the prefecture," Kan told Sato. "We are not thinking about turning those into the final sites."

But Sato was clearly dismayed.

"The proposal for constructing the interim sites came out of nowhere," he said. "I am deeply confounded."

Kan also gave Sato a government assessment that some communities in the "no-entry zone," a 20-kilometer radius surrounding the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, will be uninhabitable for years due to exposure to high levels of radioactivity.

"We cannot deny the possibility that some areas will be uninhabitable for a long period of time," he said. "We are very sorry."

But Kan did not go into details as to where those areas would be.

Toshitsuna Watanabe, mayor of Okuma, home to the embattled plant, was adamantly opposed to possible construction of interim storage sites in his town when he met Goshi Hosono, a state minister in charge of handling the nuclear accident, on Aug. 28.

Hosono went to Aizuwakamatsu, where the town hall has been temporarily moved, to explain to Watanabe the government's policy after the meeting between Kan and Sato a day earlier.

He also told Watanabe that the government has yet to determine specific sites to store nuclear waste.

"I can never allow such sites," Watanabe said.

Hosono told reporters afterward that the government will have to move the planned storage project forward because progress in decontamination work depends on it.

Nevertheless, he added that "the government will not force its way without gaining the understanding of local governments and communities."

Watanabe said that he called for the decontamination of areas surrounding the nuclear plant and assistance to evacuees as top priority during the meeting with Hosono.

In the meantime, Hosono gave a central government estimate for the outlook of contaminated areas in a meeting with local leaders on Aug. 27.

He said areas exposed to accumulated radioactivity of 100 millisieverts a year would be uninhabitable for 10 years without decontamination work.

For areas measuring 200 millisieverts, it will be more than 20 years, he added.

Hosono told the local leaders that the government will submit a special bill in the next Diet session intended to help displaced residents.

The government will consider lifting the ban on entry into the 20-km zone this fall and after January, when Tokyo Electric Power Co. is expected to bring the troubled reactors to cold shutdown.

But observers say it is inevitable that the government will exclude some areas from the lifting of the ban due to high radiation levels.

Local officials demanded that the government present prospects for final dumping sites as soon as possible.

(Top image from Fukushima Film Project)


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