Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nuclear Refugees: the people of Iitate Village, one year later

I am just back from another trip to Fukushima to document the ongoing situation following the nuclear disaster.  While I wish I could find a way to write more updates here as I am experiencing and filming, I generally find it too difficult to put into words what I am witnessing as I am witnessing it.

Even after I am back, I seem to retreat into a cocoon as I edit; for it is only after I finish editing that I have begun to process what I have witnessed and can then begin to talk about it.  

"Nuclear Refugees: the people of Iitate Village" is the first of the short documentary films I shot last week, and I will posting several more over the next couple of weeks.  The link and a short description can be found below:

"Nuclear Refugees, the people of Iitate Village, one year later" (2012/ Japan/ 18 minutes)

producer/ camera Koji Fujita 藤田 浩二
director/ editor Ian Thomas Ash

STORY:  In May 2011, two months after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, the entire village of Iitate was evacuated.  This documentary combines interviews with the villagers as they are preparing for evacuation, along with footage of the village filmed one year after evacuation. 

BACKGROUND: For two months after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, the people of Iitate Village, 40 km from the damaged nuclear plant, were exposed to high levels of radiation due to the wind direction.  The village was outside the official evacuation zone (20 km from the plant) and the villagers were not put under orders to stay indoors (such as the area 20-30 km from the plant).  As a result, the villagers, and their children, remained in Iitate until the government eventually ordered them to evacuate two months after the meltdown.

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